The Finnish Immigration Service's head office in Helsinki on 17 January, 2017.
The Finnish Immigration Service's head office in Helsinki on 17 January, 2017.

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has unveiled its updated assessments of the security and human rights situations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

Migri reveals in a press release that it specified its decision-making practices throughout last autumn based on current information from the source countries of refugees and on new rulings by administrative courts.

“The prevailing case-law is that Afghans, Iraqis and Somalis who have entered Finland as asylum seekers can be returned to their countries of origin unless they satisfy the personal grounds for granting international protection,” it says.

Administrative courts, it adds, have rejected the majority of appeals against negative asylum decisions.

The Helsinki Administrative Court overturned almost one-quarter, or 23.7 per cent, of the contested negative decisions brought before it for consideration in 2016, the press release also indicates. Migri says the majority of the repeals were made on grounds of a change in circumstances that occurred during the appeal process, such as the production of new evidence, the occurrence of a change in the situation in the country of origin or the delivery of a new ruling by an administrative court.

Migri in its assessment acknowledges that the security situation in Baghdad, Iraq, has deteriorated, albeit not to the extent that would warrant granting international protection based solely on the conditions in the applicant's home region.

“Also [the Supreme Administrative Court] KHO has ruled that applicants can be returned to Baghdad,” it points out.

Mosul, on the other hand, is considered unstable to the extent that no applicants have been returned there since early last autumn.

Migri also estimates that no major shifts have taken place in the security situation in Afghanistan, with the situation continuing to fluctuate considerably both regionally and even seasonally.

“The Immigration Service and the Helsinki Administrative Court are in agreement that it is possible to return to Kabul […]. The Helsinki Administrative Court, however, has ruled contrary to the Immigration service that returns cannot be made to some provinces of Afghanistan,” the press release reads.

Migri has consequently requested a ruling on the issue from the KHO.

No changes have similarly taken pace in the security situation in Somalia since the first half of 2016, the assessments indicate.

Unsuccessful applicants can be returned to, for example, Mogadishu, according to both Migri and the Helsinki Administrative Court. Migri will also look into the possibility of returning individual applicants to central and southern parts of Somalia and the conditions along their return route upon a request from the Helsinki Administrative Court.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi