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Finland Far-Right Groups Attack Refugees
International

Finland Far-Right Groups Attack Refugees

Demonstrators have attacked a busload of refugees arriving at a reception center in southern Finland with stones and fireworks.
Between 30 and 40 protesters, one wearing a white robe like those worn by the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan in the US, waved the Finnish flag and shouted abuse at the bus in the southern town of Lahti late on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.
Some demonstrators also hurled stones and let off fireworks at the vehicle carrying 40 refugees, including several young children, Finnish television YLE said.
“The protesters were young people from Lahti ... At this point we have no indication that they would be somehow organized,” chief inspector Martti Hirvonen told the local Finnish outlet STT.
Meanwhile, a petrol bomb was thrown at another reception center in Kouvola, also in southern Finland, police said. No one was known to be hurt in the incidents.
“The Finnish government strongly condemns last night’s racist protests against asylum seekers who had entered the country,” the government said in a statement.
“Violence or the threat of violence is always to be condemned.”
Prime Minister Juha Sipila this month offered to take in refugees at his home, a move that attracted international attention but also criticism in Finland.
“Sipila’s noble-minded gesture was like a Christmas gift for human traffickers and refugees. The news about open doors in Finland have sent many young men on a journey towards the promised land,” Mika Niikko, a deputy from anti-immigrant party The Finns, said last week in a statement.
So far this year more than 13,000 refugees have come to Finland, compared to just 3,600 in the whole of last year.

 

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