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The Finnish government is set to adopt legislative amendments that allow for the expedited removal of foreign nationals who have been convicted of offences in Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
The Finnish government is set to adopt legislative amendments that allow for the expedited removal of foreign nationals who have been convicted of offences in Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Calls for expediting the removals of foreign nationals convicted of crimes have intensified in the wake of reports that several men of foreign background are suspected of raping and sexually abusing underage girls in Oulu, North Ostrobothnia.

President Sauli Niinistö already last month approved amendments to the aliens act to enable authorities to expedite the implementation of removal orders issued on grounds of security concerns.

The amendments will allow authorities to remove foreign nationals who have been found guilty of offences carrying a minimum punishment of at least one year in prison, who have been convicted of several less serious offences or who have been deemed a threat to national security before an administrative court has issued its ruling on a possible appeal against the deportation order.

They also stipulate that criminal removal orders can be carried out no sooner than 30 days after issue, unless an administrative court has ordered to stay the removal.

Appeals are currently lodged against practically all criminal removal orders, causing delays of several months in the process. Last year, for example, the average processing time for appeals was slightly less than eight months.

“It may take two to three years from a removal proposal to an enforceable ruling,” the government highlighted in its proposal.

The amendments are to come into effect on 1 January 2019.

The proposal also indicates that criminal removals accounted for 11 per cent of the 900 removal orders issued in Finland in 2017. One year earlier, 146 of the 429 removal orders were issued based on the criminal conduct of the subject of order.

Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, on Wednesday reminded that the asylum system is not working if unsuccessful applicants cannot be removed from Finland.

“It is the duty of legal states to ensure asylum applications are processed appropriately. This also entails the right to appeal to a court of law and the possibility to submit a subsequent application, if the requisite grounds are met,” he stated.

“The amendments are an attempt to prevent the use of subsequent applications to delay the process.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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