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Dozens of people gathered to pay their respects to the victim of an assault outside Helsinki Central Station on 18 September, 2016. The victim, a man born in 1988, was pronounced dead on 16 September, roughly a week after he was assaulted during a far-right demonstration.
Dozens of people gathered to pay their respects to the victim of an assault outside Helsinki Central Station on 18 September, 2016. The victim, a man born in 1988, was pronounced dead on 16 September, roughly a week after he was assaulted during a far-right demonstration.

The Helsinki Police Department has confirmed the death of a young man who was assaulted during a demonstration organised by the Finnish Resistance Movement outside Helsinki Railway Station on 10 September, 2016.

One of the demonstrators, a man born in 1990, has been arrested in connection with the incident after turning himself in to the law-enforcement authorities, according to a press release from the Helsinki Police Department. He is tentatively suspected of assault and grossly negligent homicide.

Teemu Kruskopf, the chief inspector in charge of the pre-trial investigation, reveals in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat that the victim, a man born in 1988, was interviewed in hospital following the assault.

“He said that he walked by [the demonstrators] and spit. He said there was no other reason for why he was attacked,” says Kruskopf.

The press release indicates that the offender and other demonstrators left the scene shortly after the assault, leaving the victim lying on the ground. The victim died one day after he was discharged from hospital, on 16 September.

The Helsinki Police Department reminds in its press release that the pre-trial investigation is in progress and some details of the incident and the course of events remain unknown. People who witnessed the incident are consequently asked to contact the investigators by phone or e-mail.

The incident has fuelled demands that the activities of far-right extremists are put to an end.

Ville Niinistö, the chairperson of the Green League, lashed out at the ruling parties for “downplaying” the threat posed by far-right organisations and racism in Finland.

“It is clear that we have been silent on the activities of neo-Nazis for too long in Finland. Neo-Nazis have a violent, subversive and racist ideology. The Finnish Resistance Movement uses the threat of violence deliberately as a deterrent,” he writes on Facebook, referring to violent incidents linked to the far-right organisation in Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Oulu.

“It is high time to intervene in organised violent activities. For too long have the ruling parties been silent on how the social climate in Finland has given way to racist discrimination.”

The current legislation, he points out, provides the means to intervene in the activities of such organisations.

Paula Risikko (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, has assured that the lawfulness of extremist organisations will be examined in collaboration with the Police of Finland and the Office of the Prosecutor General. The activities of extremist organisations, she added, are currently monitored by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo).

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Timo Jaakonaho – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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