There are too many bad examples in Finland of how due justice takes too long when it comes to investigating hate crimes and other social ills like discrimination, racism, and hate speech.
One of these cases is when Fares Al-Obaidi was viciously attacked by over ten people from the Western Finnish town of Teuva. Despite the Corona pandemic and other factors that may have come into play, the case has taken over a year and eight months to investigate and bring to justice those who are guilty.
The incident, which changed a young Iraqi youth’s life, happened on June 6, 2020 when over ten suspected townspeople from the Western Finnish town of Teuva physically attacked Al-Obaidi. His car was also later vandalized.
Al-Obaidi was questioned by the police earlier last month, and one of the surprising matters that turned up was that the suspects, who attacked the young Iraqi, allege that they were provoked and attacked.
“I denied this to the police,” he explained. “I made it clear [to the investigating police officer, Aki Perämäki] that it was the townspeople of Teuva who started the incident [and attacked me].”
Moreover, the motivation for attacking him, according to Al-Obaidi, was that he wasn’t a white Finn.
We hope that the Seinäjoki police charge the perpetrators and also include hate crime as a factor.
Finland must get real about hate crimes and call a hate crime for what it is, a hate crime.
For further information contact:
Enrique Tessieri, chairperson, Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland
+358 40 8400773
* Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September 2018 and registered as an NGO the following month. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny, and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.