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Agenda of Finland: Chechen Refugees!

Submitted by on Wednesday, 10 June 2009.    1,938 views One Comment
Agenda of Finland: Chechen Refugees!

According to Helsingin Sanomat, main newspaper of Finland, a well known Finnish human rights activist Mikael Storsjö bring 15 Chechen refugees from Turkey to Finland and now Finnish authorities investigating him.

The Border Guard announced the suspicion on Thursday, saying that the Chechens came to Finland through Turkey. The suspect had organised air travel by three different groups from Istanbul to Finland. He was caught when he flew in with the first group. First Lieutenant Matti Kettunen told Helsingin Sanomat that the suspect is familiar to the Border Guard, and has been investigated for similar activities before. What Kettunen did not say that the man in question is a well-known human rights activist who has brought in dozens of Chechens before, and was also involved with a Chechen rebel website that was in the news here nearly five years ago. Kettunen emphasised that the actions of the suspect are considered aggravated, because the cases show indications of organised activity.

In addition to the main suspect, the Border Guard believes that one Finnish resident and one asylum seeker were involved in organising the illegal entry. Kettunen says that there is no sign of any involvement by a bigger international league. Reacting to the press release issued by the Border Guard on Thursday, Storsjö told Helsingin Sanomat that he was the “main suspect” in the case. He noted that under the Finnish criminal code, organising entry into the country is not illegal, if weighty humanitarian considerations are involved.  “I have operated in the open, and I have nothing to hide in the matter”, he says. The Border Guard says that two asylum seekers are suspected of having committed forgery.

Mikael Storsjö says that he is the man that the Finnish Border Guard suspects of arranging the illegal entry of 15 Chechens into Finland.  All of the men, women, and children involved have applied for asylum in Finland and they are being housed at Finnish refugee reception centres.

Storsjö says that all of the people that he brought into Finland had flight tickets from Istanbul via Helsinki to St. Petersburg. As citizens of Russia they did not need a visa to Finland, or a residence permit, which means that they were allowed on the plane in Istanbul as transit passengers. Storsjö says that he has used this method to bring in about 50 Chechen refugees in recent years. Before coming to Finland, the Chechens arrived in Turkey through Azerbaijan. In Turkey they lived in refugee camps.  “They are not allowed to work, and get no state support. Their children are not allowed to go to school”, Storsjö said, explaining why he wanted to help them.

“Islam Tumsoev wants a good education and a job” written by Kristiina Markkanen at Helsingin Sanomat. Life in Turkey was more or less satisfactory, but it lacked hope for the future. Tumsoev planned to return to Chechnya some day, but when his uncle was kidnapped, and was not heard from again, Tumsoev stayed in Turkey. Islam says: “We lived on aid from an Islamic aid organisation. Life was uncertain. Those without papers were imprisoned if they were caught. On the other hand, people constantly hope that they might be able to go back home. That is why they stay so close to the area.” He says that it would have been possible to stay illegally in Turkey for as much as 50 years, but that “it would not have been a life”. Three Chechen activists whom he knew personally had been murdered in Istanbul. He wanted to get out. He says:  “It was frightening to think that agents of Ramzan Kadyrov are in Turkey looking for Chechens.”

Despite Finnish authorities feel disturbed about the activity of Mikael Storsjö, the Finnish people strongly supporting him. Esa Mäkinen, one writer of Helsingin Sanomat shows it with his words: “In my books Mikael Storsjö is a hero. The Finnish authorities finds him to be a crook.” Esa Mäkinen thinks, “Storsjö should not dream for a peace award.” Storsjö’s aim is very basic, he just want to help oppressed and innocent civic people from Chechnya.

One Comment »

  • Tsetseenia vabaks said:

    I’m so happy he did it! Such a great man!
    In other way getting day by day news that Backman, Halonen and others from Finland support so greatly ruSSia made me already loose my faith to Finland.

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