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Finnish Muslim asylum seekers on their way to Sweden

Hundreds of Muslim asylum seekers intend to cross the border to Haparanda hoping to get asylum in Sweden. “They do not feel safe anymore,” said asylum activist Nuor Dawood. All are Muslim Iraqis, Somalis and Afghans. 

Via: Esko Pihkala  

Turku’s largest newspaper Turun Sanomat reports that a group of asylum seekers, including many women and children, will gather in Torneå and cross the border. Most are from Iraq, some from Afghanistan and Somalia.

The newspaper refers to the asylum activist Nuor Dawood, who says that everything will go smoothly.

“I am very sure that there will be many families with many children,” he told Norrbotten Media.

How many plan to cross the border?

– Hundreds of people, but there may be a thousand. I’m not sure, says Nuor Dawood, who does not participate but acts as a spokesperson.

Most of the asylum seekers are in northern Finland, but also in the rest of the country. The action, which has grown on social media, is scheduled to take place in early September.

“It can be a demonstration, there can be protests, but we mostly focus on leaving the country legally. But we have to negotiate with the police, says Nuor Dawood.


The reason for the dissatisfaction is that Finnish police should have launched an offensive of deportations. At the moment, 15 asylum seekers, including two families, will be locked in anticipation of being sent back to Iraq, according to Dawood. He tells us that families, parents and children are also separated from each other. Nuor Dawood says that people are being traumatized by the authorities’ treatment and that the children have become afraid of police.

“People tell me they are giving up, there is no hope here and that they do not feel safe because of how they are treated by the police. They knock on the door, take us in prison and send us back to Iraq.

Demonstration should have been in Helsinki for 183 days and it has not led to any changes to asylum policy. Long wait for a message about residence permits and travel bans has led people to feel detained at asylum receptions, according to Dawood. They have also assisted the Iraqi embassy in Helsinki, but it has not led to any visible changes to the policy of expulsions of Iraqis. Nuor Dawood also says there is widespread racism against asylum seekers in Finland.

– People are tired of the situation. They just want help and getting away from this place.

The Finnish authorities have told Turun Sanomat that the hopes of seeking asylum in Sweden are unrealistic because those who have already applied for asylum in Finland will be sent back there, in accordance with the Dublin Regulation.

Normally the border crossing is open between Haparanda and Torneå. The asylum seeker will therefore not be stopped from crossing the border, unless a specific border inspection is established.

Norrbottens Media has not been able to reach representatives of the Swedish border police on Sunday.

The Swedish Migration Board is aware of the data, states the government’s press service, but they do not want to comment on them today.

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