Finland Helsingin Sanomat Somalia

When to Repatriate, A Finnish Dilemma…….

The Helsingin Sanomat’s editorial (19.7.07) Peilissä näkyvät somalin kasvot / Somali faces in the mirror ponders the justness of sending three convicted Somali criminals back to their homeland.

The HS does in fact recognize both the legality of the Finnish courts decision and the seriousness of the crimes committed, “having been sentenced 4,5–8 for serious crimes“, but nonetheless mentions that “the men came to Finland when they were ten years old, and that their ties to the country are rather weak.”

What the HS editorial fails to mention though, is that in other similar cases where Somali convicts faced expulsion –due to the violence in the area in which they would be returning– after careful consideration the decision was made that they should remain in Finland.

The three Somali convicts who are now in question, would be repatriated to northern Somalia, where in the opinion of the Finnish court the situation is not the same as in other parts of Somalia. The HS goes on to further add whether or not we have a certain moral responsibility towards these men who came to Finland as ten year olds, and return them to an area still at war and can no longer speak their native language?

“Kun Suomi on nämä lapset ottanut vastaan, onko meillä moraalista oikeutta heittää heidät aikuisina sekasortoon suistuneeseen entiseen kotimaahansa, jossa he ovat luultavasti täysin ummikkoja? “

The HS is not being entirely honest with that assertion, at this point it’s entirely speculative to claim that they have lost their ability to speak their native tongue. Being first generation Somalis and living in an area where the Somali community is very tight, the language is very much alive and well. I hear Somali youths speaking to each other in their mother tongue all the time in the streets of Helsinki. Perhaps their case is different, but I doubt it.

Then the editorial finishes by asserting that Finnish officials, teachers, foreign, social, justice and police officials need to look in the mirror themselves.

“Kolmen somalimiehen tapaus pakottaa suomalaiset viranomaiset – opettajat, ulkomaalais-, sosiaali-, oikeus- ja poliisiviranomaiset – katsomaan myös peiliin.”

What about the moral responsibility of the individual concerning his and her actions as residents in the host state that welcomed them? If there is any looking into the mirror to be done, it should be the people who fail to act as decent, law abiding residents, not the host state that offered them asylum. I am not for returning anyone into a war zone that would put the individuals life in danger, which in this case they wouldn’t be. The HS does not mention that glaring piece of information, choosing rather to turn the tables and make the system the guilty party, not the three men currently sitting in prison for committing serious crimes. *L* KGS

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