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Human rights watchdogs and social media users have expressed their dismay with a presentation given by the immigration unit of Helsinki Police Department on Wednesday, 10 October. (Credit: Onni Ojala – Lehtikuva)
Human rights watchdogs and social media users have expressed their dismay with a presentation given by the immigration unit of Helsinki Police Department on Wednesday, 10 October. (Credit: Onni Ojala – Lehtikuva)

 

The National Police Board has announced it will look into complaints filed in connection with a presentation given yesterday by the immigration unit of Helsinki Police Department.

Uusi Suomi on Wednesday reported that Heli Aaltonen, a chief inspector at Helsinki Police Department, gave a presentation that included descriptions and illustrations of various types of undocumented immigrants encountered by police while conducting inspections at, for example, restaurants and construction sites.

The examples included a bibulous Estonian construction worker and a Somali man with three wives.

Stop Deportations, a group of activists opposing the forced removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers, viewed that the descriptions and illustrations are an exhibit of everyday racism in Finland. Kaari Mattila, the secretary general at the Finnish League for Human Rights, similarly labelled them as racist stereotypes.

Their allegations were rejected by Aaltonen.

“I brought it up many times that this is not ethnic profiling. And that no one should be offended, because what's important is the underlying issue. Also the police is concerned if an employer takes advantage of undocumented asylum seekers,” she said according to Uusi Suomi.

The National Police Board has nevertheless decided to examine the presentation, stressing that the police must safeguard all basic and human rights. “There is absolutely no tolerance for racism,” its spokesperson tweeted on Thursday.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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