STATEMENT: How the police and justice system play down hate crime

The Southern Ostrobothnia district court ruling of the Fares Al-Abaidi case is in our opinion a miscarriage of justice. It shows how the police and the courts play down racist crime.

Imagine scores of people attacked Al-Abaidi in June 2020, but only one person was convicted for assault. Racism was not a motive for what happened.

Some questions arise when looking at the case.

  • Its long 26-month length;
  • Not all of the suspects were questioned by the police;
  • No hate crime charges were brought; racism had nothing to do with the cause of the incident;
  • The district court judge gave his sentence on the same day as the trial began, which is extremely rare in Finland.

Were all these factors due to limited police resources?

Al-Abaidi was disappointed with the ruling as we were.

“He got away with only a fine while my life changed completely,” said Al-Abaidi. “I was very disappointed [with the sentence],” he admitted. “It was a very, very bad decision.”

Fortunately, Al-Abaidi has appealed the ruling.

This is important not only for the victim, who was eighteen when he was assaulted but for Finland’s racialized communities.

While it is surprising that only one person was fined and convicted in Al-Abaidi’s case, he should prepare – like Musta Barbaari’s six-year struggle for justice – for a long battle before seeing justice.

All good people should join Al-Abaidi and demand justice for what happened.

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.

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