Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Greens) addressed the media in a press conference held in conjunction of a meeting of the Green League in Helsinki on 12 August 2019. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


MARIA OHISALO (Greens), the Minister of the Interior, has voiced her concern about attempts to erode the sense of security in Finland.

“Finland is one of the world’s safest countries. It is disconcerting to notice how people are deliberately trying to erode the sense of safety […] by fuelling distrust and driving a wedge between different population groups,” she wrote in a blog on the website of the Green League on Friday.

“In Finland, violence is being fuelled especially by people affiliated with far-right and anti-immigration circles,” she added.

“Far-right movements are a threat to an open and free society.”

Ohisalo also expressed her regret that far-right organisations are spreading their hostile and violent message on the anniversary of the stabbing spree that took place in Turku, South-west Finland, on 18 August 2017. Two people lost their lives and eight sustained injuries in what was the first terrorist attack in Finland.

The attacker was sentenced to life in prison on 15 June 2018 by the District Court of Varsinais-Suomi.

More people would have likely been affected by the attack had it not been for the rapid response of paramedics and police and rescue officers, as well as the resourceful response of bystanders, according to her.

“My thoughts are with the families of the victims on the anniversary of the knife attack in Turku,” wrote Ohisalo.

She outlined that efforts to promote everyday security are needed to respond to the challenge posed by far-right organisations.

“It requires that we prevent inequalities and fight social exclusion. We need a functioning civil society and media that tackles hate speech. Measures across administrative domains will be adopted during this electoral term to intervene in systematic harassment and threatening. We must not give ground to far-right ideas. Hatred cannot be rejected with hatred but by strengthening trust.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi