ASYLUM SEEKERS MET WITH FINLAND’S PRIME MINISTER JUHA SIPILÄ - THE PM ADMITTED MISTAKES HAVE BEEN MADE IN ASYLUM MATTERS

PRESS RELEASE
29 March 2017


Ghulam and Haidar, representatives of the asylum seekers’ demonstration at Helsinki Railway Square, met Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Tuesday at the Narinkkatori Square in Helsinki. They told the Prime Minister they have now protested at the Railway Square for 48 days to tell the Government about their plight. “Have you heard our message?”, they asked.




Prime Minister Sipilä admitted he had heard about the demonstration and was pleased he finally got to meet the asylum seekers’ representatives. 

Haidar from Iraq asked whether the Prime Minister is aware of families who have been evicted or are being evicted from reception centres after negative asylum decisions with nowhere to go. “Fortunately, there are volunteers in Finland who offer a place to stay the night”, Haidar praised. 

He also asked whether the Prime Minister was aware of forced deportations. “We now have people who cannot return to their home country safely and who have committed no crimes in Finland. Why are you deporting them?”, the Iraqi asked.
Prime Minister Sipilä said he was aware of deportations and stated that the Finland’s asylum policy is in line with that in other European countries. 

However, he admitted mistakes have been made in Finland. Haidar said he wanted to send the demands of the asylum seekers’ demonstration directly to the Prime Minister and was given Sipilä’s contact details. “I hope you can help asylum seekers and will change the law”, Haidar appealed.

FINNS PARTY CANDIDATES ONLY ACCEPT DEPORTATION IF THE ASYLUM SEEKER HAS COMMITTED A CRIME IN FINLAND

Ghulam, from Afghanistan, visited all election campaigning tents at the Square to find out about the political parties’ aims and ask about their opinion on forced deportations. 


“What if I die when Finland returns me to Afghanistan?”
Candidates of the Green Party, the Left Alliance, Swedish People’s Party of Finland, Christian Democrats and the Pirate Party opposed forced deportations and representatives of the National Coalition Party and Social Democratic Party of Finland opposed them if the person’s health or life is at risk. 


“Finns Party candidates said they support forced deportations only if the asylum seeker has committed a crime in Finland”, Ghulam tells. 

He interpreted the comments by Prime Minister Sipilä (Centre Party) as a statement that Finland will not deport anyone who may be at risk in their home country.

SIPILÄ AGREED TO DISCUSS ATTACKS WITH THE MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR

At the election campaigning tents, Sipilä was also asked about his opinion on violence towards asylum seekers, such as petrol bomb and pepper spray attacks. “Why have there been no arrests?” asked the audience. The Prime Minister promised to discuss this with Paula Risikko, Minister of the Interior.

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