Friday, January 8, 2016

Unprecedented sex harassment in Helsinki at New Year, Finnish police report. And, elsewhere in Europe. All cultures are not equal

Unprecedented sex harassment in Helsinki at New Year, Finnish police report

Finnish police 'tipped off' about plans by groups of asylum seekers to sexually harass women

Fireworks light up the night sky marking New Year celebrations in the Senate Square in Helsinki
Fireworks light up the night sky marking New Year celebrations in the Senate Square in Helsinki Photo: EPA
Asylum seekers who met in central Helsinki to celebrate New Years’s Eve “had similar plans” to commit sexual assault and other crimes as those who targeted women in the Germany city of Cologne, Finnish Police have reported. 
Three Iraqi asylum seekers have been arrested for committing sexual assaults during the celebrations in the city’s Senate Square, where some 20,000 had gathered. 
Security personnel reported “widespead sexual harrassment” during the celebrations, police added, with women complaining that asylum seekers had groped their breasts and kissed them without permission. 
“This phenomenon is new in Finnish sexual crime history,” Ilkka Koskimaki, the deputy chief of police in Helsinki, told the Telegraph. ”We have never before had this kind of sexual harrassment happening at New Year’s Eve.” He said that the police had received tip-offs from staff at the asylum reception centres. 
“Our information from these reception centres were that disturbances or other crimes would happen in the city centre. We were prepared for fights and sexual harrassment and thefts.” 
He said that police had established a “very massive presence” to control the estimated 1,000 Iraqi asylum seekers who had gathered in the tunnels surrounding the central railway station by 11pm, many of whom appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
Mr Koskimaki said that sexual assults in parks and on the streets had been unknown in Finland before a record 32,000 asylum seekers arrived in 2015, making the 14 cases last year “big news in the city”. 
“We had unfortunately some very brutal cases in autumn,” he said. “I don’t know so well other cultures, but I have recognised that the thinking of some of them is very different. Some of them maybe think that it is allowed to be aggressive and touch ladies on the street.” 
Jamel Saltne, a Finnish-speaking Iraqi, said that from what he had seen on Arabic social media, police had wrongly portrayed events. 
"What happened was not the result of an action planned in advance," he told the Telegraph. "It was totally expected that young men would go to the centre of the capital as that is the best place to celebrate New Year's Eve." 
"I'm not accusing the police of racism, but maybe they have received complaints intended to smear people." 
The rapes have fuelled anger among some Finns at last year's record asylum figures, with the country registering the fourth highest number per capita in the European Union. 
Unarmed militia groups calling themselves “Soldiers of Odin”, wearing black jackets and hats marked “S.O.O”, have sprung up in several towns in Finland where asylum seekers are housed, claiming they want to protect citizens from “Islamic intruders”. 
Petteri Orpo, Finnish interior minister, condemned the groups in an interview with national broadcaster YLE on Thursday. 
“There are extremist features to carrying out street patrols. It does not increase security,” he said.

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish police say at least 15 young women have reported being groped by groups of men on New Year's Eve in the city of Kalmar.
The Swedish reports follow a string of sex assaults and robberies during New Year's celebrations in Germany.
Kalmar police spokesman Johan Bruun on Friday said groups of men encircled women on a crowded square and groped them. He said no one was physically injured but that many of those targeted were terrified.
He said two men, both asylum-seekers, were informed through interpreters that they're suspected of sexual assault and that police are trying to identify other suspects.
Asked about similarities to assaults in Germany, Bruun said "we are aware of what happened in Germany but we are focusing our investigation on what happened in Kalmar."

More horror sex attack claims: Teen girls gang-raped by four Syrian nationals in Germany

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