Human rights activists and opposition members have expressed their dismay at reports that Finland commenced the forced removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers to Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.
“Finland is about to forcibly return asylum seekers to Kabul, despite the fact Afghanistan is not safe according to information provided by the UN. In Germany, for example, five states suspended removals to Afghanistan after the security situation deteriorated,” said Eva Biaudet (SFP), an ex-Ombudsman for Minorities.
Her demands for suspending the forced removals were echoed by the Green League, which revealed that the information at its disposal indicates that the passengers on the flight also included people living alone and families with children.
“The removals must be suspended immediately,” stated Ville Niinistö, the chairperson of the Green League.
Over two hundred people took part in an impromptu demonstration against the forced removals at Helsinki Airport late on Monday.
The Helsinki Police Department, which is responsible for organising removal flights out of Finland, refrained from confirming the reports of the removal flight, which began to emerge yesterday afternoon, until after the flight had taken off – shortly after midnight.
“We can’t provide information about the schedules. We can never tell about them in advance, nor give any detailed information afterwards,” Hannu Pietilä, a senior inspector at the Helsinki Police Department, said to Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.
The newspaper also revealed that the flight is believed to be already the third removal flight organised after Finland and Afghanistan signed an agreement on forced removals last October.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi