Asylum seekers protest against the problematic asylum procedures in Finland
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"Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers in Finland have been protesting against the unequal asylum processes and faulty asylum decisions for one month in central Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The asylum processes and decisions have proved to be highly problematic when it comes to using interpreters, accepting evidence, evaluating personal threat and the safety of the country of origin among other things. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) refuses to publicly admit these problems, although in a private meeting with the demonstrators Migri has admitted making several mistakes in the cases of asylum seekers who arrived in Finland in 2015 and after. Meanwhile, Finland continues to forcibly deport people to unsafe circumstances.
The demands of the protesters include the following:
- Independent review of the functioning of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri)
- Updated country of origin reports (or instance compared to 61% average in EU, only ca. 35% of Iraqi asylum seekers receive international protection in Finland)
- Review of all asylum cases that have undergone a faulty asylum procedure by Migri
- Immediate stop to all deportations because of the faulty procedures
- Return the temporary residence permit to Finnish legislation without obligation to sign up for "voluntary" return.
The situation at the moment is causing an unprecedented rise in the number of undocumented people in Finland. In 2015, the temporary residence permit that was previously given to people who do not receive protection but cannot be deported, was abolished from Finnish legislation. At the moment, thousands of people are in a legal void.
Many end up working without papers in Finnish informal economy, or leave to other EU countries such as Germany or France.
The protest has reached an unprecedented amount of public support from academics to culture professionals as well as politicians on the municipal and parliamentary level. The biggest opposition parties (Social Democrats, the Greens, the Left Alliance, Swedish Peopleâs Party in Finland) have also demanded the Finnish government to reintroduce the temporary residence permit. Public supporters of the demonstration also include the national art museum Ateneum, the National theatre, and several other institutions."
You can follow the continuous demonstration on Facebook
And on Twitter
The complete list of issues and demands (link)
Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
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