Timo Soini (PS), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, was pictured arriving for an election debate hosted by MTV in Helsinki on 4 April, 2017.

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Timo Soini (PS), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has called attention to the importance of preserving the integrity of the asylum system of Finland.

“It simply can’t be the case that if you receive a negative [asylum] decision, you’ll head to [Helsinki] Senate Square and sit there for a month, and then you get a positive decision,” Soini said at a municipal election debate organised by MTV in Helsinki on Tuesday.

Finland, he warned, would risk undermining its entire asylum system if it allowed individual cases to steer it away from the position it has adopted on asylum decisions.

Soini estimated that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ travel recommendations and warnings should not be cited as justification for criticising the forced removals of asylum seekers because the security situation in Afghanistan, for example, is different for western visitors than it is for locals. “Westerners can be taken hostage, kidnapped. It’s a different thing,” he explained.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs currently advises citizens to avoid any travel to Afghanistan.

Soini also questioned the tendency of opposition members to dispute the decisions of courts and authorities by arguing that it is of utmost importance to foster public confidence in compliance with official decisions.

“Whenever Finns Party members have appealed a court’s decision, there has been a terrible uproar over them showing contempt for the judicial system. All of the [removal orders] have been approved by a court, and the police are simply doing their job,” he stated.

“If the decision-making criteria are changed, we’ll carry on accordingly. But you can’t agree on the criteria and then ignore them when taking action.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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