Asylum seekers are being neglected – who is responsible?

We are concerned about asylum seekers’ legal protection and health.

People staying at reception centres are in a poor mental and physical state, having to wait with nothing to do is distressing, and health care has been reduced to a minimum. At Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, a patient’s asylum status prevented appropriate treatment and this resulted in a young man’s death on 7 June. The Finnish Immigration Service supervises, plans and monitors health care for asylum seekers. Will the events in Lahti and those responsible be investigated?

The situation in detention units is worrying.
Many of those detained are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, even malnourished, and cannot sleep as they fear a knock on the door and a drive to the airport. To the authorities, these people are nothing but numbers; they are not even informed of when they will be deported. Who monitors what state they are in at the moment of deportation? The detention centre at Metsälä keeps passing the responsibility to the police, the Finnish Immigration Service and the Ministry of the Interior.

An Iranian asylum seeker tells how the police tried to deport him on Monday 12 June from Metsälä detention centre, using an unacceptable level of physical violence. The captain of the plane had refused to allow a deportation on board. An investigation request concerning the matter has been submitted to the police. On request by supporters, a doctor examined the asylum seeker’s injuries on the same evening - after 48h the detention unit had still not arranged an examination. In April, too, the police used an unacceptable level of violence while attempting to deport an asylum seeker to Baghdad. An investigation into police violence was still underway when the police tried to deport the person again.

We would like to ask but who will answer? Who is responsible for asylum seekers’ legal protection, their poor mental and physical state at reception centres and detention units, who is responsible for inhumane deportations? Is anyone interested at all? The authorities keep passing the buck to one another. The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman says it monitors some of the deportation flights, the police says it is only doing its duty. Everyone keeps telling themselves they are observing the law.

Anna Meuronen, Specialist in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, encourages doctors: “You have the right to act and to treat all people equally, in line with your own ethics.” Healthcare professionals are having intense debates on the subject of asylum seekers’ poor treatment.

Who will assume responsibility in a constitutional state? We ask you to stop inhumane detentions and deportations and to provide equal care for asylum seekers and all people.

Stop Deportations Finland

13 June 2017

#stopdeportations #righttolive #oikeuselää


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