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Storsjö: My Family and I have been Subjected to Direct Threats

Submitted by on Saturday, 16 April 2011.    747 views No Comment
Storsjö: My Family and I have been Subjected to Direct Threats

The trial against well-known human rights defender and IT entrepreneur Mikael Storsjö continued at the Vanta District Court on April 15.

The indictment from the Finnish district prosecutor is related to the arrangement of illegal immigration. The prosecutor calls for the imprisonment of Mikael Storsjö due to his role in the facilitation of Chechen asylum seekers illegal entry into Finland. According to the indictment, Mikael Storsjö helped dozens of Chechens arrive in Finland between 2007 and 2010.

The prosecutor, Mikko Sipilä has failed to show that Mr. Storsjö benefited from helping the Chechens. However, the Finnish district prosecutor claimed that Mikael Storsjö took advantage of the situation for his business through the publicity of his activities.

Mikael Storsjö refused the claims of receiving financial benefit and he pointed out that he helped them only for humanitarian reasons. According to him, the Finnish Immigration Service granted refugee status for those Chechen asylum seekers later.

“The money for these trips came from my own pocket‚Ķ I decided alone to help with their trips‚Ķ The publicity about my activities has not concluded positively as your claims say. In fact, my family and I have been subjected to direct threats,” said Storsj√∂.

The trial will continue in early May.

On the other hand, the Russian media has taken a big interest in this case. For a few weeks, the Russian media regularly has published lies about Mikael Storsj√∂’s human rights activities.

Also, only the day before the trial, the pro-Russian Finnish group SAFKA organized a press conference in Helsinki. The Finnish media did not attend the event, but the Russian media was there. During the press conference, Johan Beckman and Petr Kronh openly targeted Mikael Storsj√∂ and members of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum. Beckman showed photos of Mr. Storsj√∂, and Kronh gave out Mr. Storsj√∂’s address. Also, it must be noted that some Russian TV channels showed the location of Mr. Storsj√∂’s business office. All of these activities are direct and open threats on the life of Mikael Storsj√∂. Thus, Finnish law enforcement agencies must investigate this issue and protect Mr. Storsj√∂, his family and other Finnish rights activists.

*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco

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