Clash of sexual cultures undermines efforts to acclimatize immigrants in Finland

FTimes-Xinhua Report by Juhani Niinisto and Li Jizhi, Nov 29

A 30-year-old Finnish mother of two daughters winced when she talked about the hasty installation of a refugee center no more than one kilometer from her house in Helsinki suburb.

"I have discussed with my husband. Maybe we shall move to a new place," she said while choosing Christmas goods for her family members in a downtown department store.

"I heard that there will be some 50 asylum seekers coming. Most of them are young men under 19 years old," she added.

As the refugees continue to pour into this tiny Nordic country, harassment of teenage women by male asylum seekers has made the headlines in Finnish media in recent days.

In Kempele, northern Finland, the police were investigating a case in which a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped last Monday night by a 17-year-old asylum seeker.

One day later, a similar case happened in Raisio, southern Finland. The victim was also a 14-year-old girl, and the suspect was a 19-year-old asylum seeker.

The two cases were the only covered in media, and the Police admitted on Friday that actually 10 such incidents were under investigation.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä uncommonly gave a public statement condemning the crime in northern Finland, where his hometown is located. But he assured to accommodate more refugees in his old house as scheduled.

The incident in Kempele triggered a local protest on Saturday, and the police had to evacuate the local refugee center for security reason.

A heated public debate could be seen on television and the internet. The discussion mainly concerned the relative light sentences on rape by Finnish courts, the limitations imposed on the police to tell about cases and the need to inform the asylum seekers about Finnish values, including sexual behavior.

The different sexual cultures have been seen as a key problem.

In Finland, a woman trusts that her explicit "no" will be respected in any situation -- even after a joint cab drive to a private home, said Finnish expert Paivi Kari-Zein.

Kari-Zein told Finnish national broadcaster Yle that a Finnish woman thinks she can cut off the game at any stage "even quite late", and believes her word will be respected, but an asylum seeker may find it hard to accept.

Kari-Zein also warned that the fairly exposing clothing of girls may be baffling to the arrivals. They may not be used to seeing women alone in restaurants or even in public places.

Some 25 percent of persons convicted of rape In Finland in recent years are of foreign extraction. The problem thus existed before the current influx of asylum seekers.

Marko Forss, a police officer known as the "internet cop" in Finland, wrote in his blog that the police should be given more freedom in informing what has happened.

"The police do not want to instigate violence or hatred against asylum seekers, but through concealing the crimes they have done we only make the situation worse. Openness would work best also in this situation," Forss wrote.

As an EU country, Finland has assumed the responsibility of taking in thousands of refugees this year, but the question remains how the five million citizens get along well with the new arrivals.

"Almost every day we hear about more suspected cases and even actual court sentences of rape by foreigners that have taken place in the cities and around the refugee centers," a netizen named "An utterly tired Finn" said in an internet posting on Friday.

The posting claimed that only two percent of the asylum seekers are real refugees and the rest are "fit males in their 20s" looking for better living standard.

While the true figures could not be found in any official statistics, the Finnish authority has lately adopted new techniques in processing asylum applications, including DNA tests.

Building planned for refugee centre burnt at Kankaanpää

FTimes-Xinhua Report, Dec 2

A building planned to accommodate refugees was burnt down by a fierce fire on Tuesday morning in Kankaanpää, western Finland, local media reported.

The two-storeyed wooden building had been supposed to serve as a reception center and the first asylum seekers are to arrive next week.

The police told media that the fire was probably set intentionally, but stressed that the destruction of the building would not prevent asylum seekers from being accommodated in other facilities in the region.

Security companies to be allowed inside reception centres

Refugee centres away from police to be closed

FTimes - STT Report, Nov 28

Interior Minister Petteri Orpo on Friday said refugee reception centres located in wrong areas such as those which are far away from police supervision are to be closed due to security concerns.

There has been no official statement on which centres will be shut down. According to Orpo, a change in the law is being prepared which would allow security companies to place guards inside the reception centres.

At the moment, security guards are only allowed to work outside of the centres. Finland is only one of many destination countries affected by uncontrolled migration, said Orpo. According to him, more initiatives are to be taken to prevent crime.

“As soon as refugees arrive in Finland, they must be informed and educated on the laws, culture and status of women in Finland, as well as what works and what does not,” Orpo said.

The police have been notified at least ten times this year about rapes in which the suspect is a refugee, the National Police Board told news agency STT.

The government was informed of the ten suspected rapes involving refugees at the end of the week, as the Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Interior Minister Orpo, Justice and Labour Minister Jari Lindström as well as the police and senior management of the Interior Ministry held an emergency meeting.

Minister terms rape incidents security risk

FTimes- STT Report, Nov 28

Justice Minister Jari Lindström on Friday termed the recent suspected cases of rape by asylum seekers as a security risk.

The minister expressed concern about the harmony in the society. Lindström termed the rape incidents outrageous, incomprehensible and sad.

This is the second week in a row where the victim of a suspected rape has been a 14-year-old girl and the suspect is believed to be an asylum seeker.

The suspect in the other case has a foreign background. The police, however, have not confirmed media reports that the suspect is an asylum seeker

Anti-asylum protest follows teenage rape

Kempele refugees shifted for safety

FTimes – STT Report, Nov 29

The inmates of Kempele refugee centre were shifted to another place on security ground following a demonstration by the local people protesting against the government’s immigration policy on Saturday.

About 200 to 300 people brought out a procession from Oulu area and marched to the town’s market square protesting the incident of rape of a 14-year-old girl allegedly by an Afghan in Kempele on Monday, which came public on Friday.

The protesters marched from the market to the building used to shelter young asylum seekers. The procession ended at the scene where the teenage girl was raped.

Later the Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation, which operates the refugee centre, shifted the refugees to elsewhere, reported the Iltalehti, a Finnish language tabloid. The Iltalehti report said Saturday’s anti-asylum demonstration forced the centre authorities to shift the refugees to a different place to ensure their security.

According to the Oulu police, the unit’s staff made an independent decision to move the residents elsewhere, reported the national broadcaster Yle.

The foundation said it had transferred the young asylum seekers to a different location in order to ensure their safety.

Some Finnish families with kids join Isis

FTimes – STT Report, Nov 22

Some families together with their children have left the country to join the ranks of Isis, reported Ilta-Sanomat, a Finnish language tabloid.

According to the security police (Supo), entire families including very small children have left Finland to join the extremist organisation. The aim is to raise a new generation of jihadis, said a representative of Supo to the tabloid.

The Ilta-Sanomat, however, did not specify how many have left to join Isis.

A few weeks ago, Supo said about 70 people had left the country for Syria, of whowere killed and about a dozen came back.

The topic of children from Europe joining Isis has been in the headlines following the terrorist attack in Paris.

Quoting the British newspaper Daily News, the Ilta-Sanomat reported that the mastermind of the Paris attacks, 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud took his little brother, 13-year-old Younes, to Syria alongside Isis last year..

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