The Religious Society of Friends, Finland Yearly Meeting

Spring Gathering 2017, March 19 2017

We are writing this letter to express our grave concern regarding the ongoing deportations from Finland of persons who face death threats, violence and persecutions to Iraq and Afghanistan and other conflict areas.  Our members and attenders are particularly concerned about the deportations affecting underage children and families to these countries.  Having read numerous deportation decisions made by the Finnish Migration Service we are particularly concerned with recommendations included therein that deported persons change their names, professional and identity information in order to conceal, for instance, their religious orientation, a direct violation of their human rights.

Finland has always strived to be a leader internationally in advocating for high standards in recognition of human rights as set out in the Human Rights Treaties as well as the UN treaty on the Rights of the Child and the Treaty on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Finland is also noted for its advocacy of rights to family reunification as set out in the Helsinki Agreement of 1975. These rights are now often denied mainly due to onerous financial barriers and inadequate consular services.

We urge the Government of Finland to take measures to protect the reputation of Finland as human rights defender and cease the unjust deportations now ongoing during Finland’s 2017 Centenary Year.

Distribution: Prime Minister Sipilä, Foreign Minister Soini, Interior Minister Risikko, Chairpersons of parliamentary groups, The Finnish News Agency STT.