Finland’s largest daily Helsingin Sanomat asked twenty-three racism researchers if they had been harassed and received death threats. Sixteen researchers answered the questionnaire of which 14 responded affirmatively that they had received hate mail.
This story by Helsingin Sanomat confirms the concern of other researchers at the University of Eastern Finland.
The first time I received death threats (two in one day) was in surprisingly in Finland in the early 1990s, when I wrote about the treatment that Somalis received at a refugee center in Mikkeli.
The death threats and harassment haven’t stopped since then but neither have I been intimidated by them to stop writing.
Some of anonymous mail I have received is quite amusing. One older man gave me a lesson on Finnish history and claimed that he would end his subscription to Savon Sanomat, where my column appeared.
The headline of the column was Maahanmuutto ei ole uhka, or Immigration isn’t a threat.
The letter sent to me had no signature or return address.
If a person has such strong feelings about a topic like immigration, why doesn’t he defend them publicly with his name?
Who do death threats and hate speech intimidate?
Nobody except those who send them.