(via fax, phone & e-mail)

Today began the 14th day of a hunger strike by Kurdish refugees in Finland. One Kurd and one Finnish friend have been on hunger strike since September 20th, two Kurds joined on Sunday, September 21st, and 5 Kurds started striking on September 29th.

The hunger strike is a protest against the inhumane practices of the Finnish Foreigner Bureau, which has carried out a lot of mass decisions to deport Kurds from Turkish-Kurdistan during the summer of 1997. The decisions lack reason for single individuals. Mistreated Kurds have been politically active and they are at risk of being persecuted by the Turkish regime if returned to Turkey. There are many Kurdish refugees in Finland and the Finnish Foreigner Bureau should know very well the situation in Turkey.

Deported Kurds have made appeals to the Asylum Board, which usually follows the decisions of Foreigner Bureau. Finland is known for its hostile refugee policy, one of the tightest in the Western Europe. Even the European Union, which is closing it's borders as a whole, has criticized Finnish refugee policy. There are less than 20,000 refugees in Finland; the 1,000 annual asylum seekers are not a risk to Finnish welfare.

The hunger strike is not only for these Kurds, it's also against the Finnish foreigner policy as whole, it's for all the asylum seekers from which some have been forced to wait for decisions, sometimes negative, as much as 5 years. It's also against the establishing of the "fortress Europe", in which "the free movement of people" is just a joke for those in a need of asylum.

You can increase the pressure against Finnish officials who have chosen "keeping our nation clean" as their official policy, thanks to decades of populist rhetoric by politicians. Please forward this message and participate the protest!

The pressure campaign is planned to begin at 11 am CET on Friday, October 3rd (That means 4.00 am in NY). Please distribute this message as much as possible before that.

You can send faxes or phone to following address:
Demand a fairer refugee policy from:

Finnish Foreigner Bureau
Director, Ms. Mielikki Tenhunen
fax: +358-9-4765-5857 or +358-9-4765-5700
phone: +358-9-476-5500

You can appeal for the Kurds on hunger strike to:

Asylum Board
fax: +358-9-1825-7774
phone: +358-9-18251

The Foreigner Bureau is in the control of:

Minister of Domestic Affairs
Mr. Jan-Erik Enestam
phone: +358-9-(1601 or 478 711)-2800
fax: +358-9-(1601 or 478 411)-2887

The Asylum Board is in the control of:

Minister of Justice
Mr. Kari Hakamies
phone: +358-9-(18251 or 478 713)-7500
fax: +358-9-(18251 or 478 713)-7730

Thank you for your efforts! I will inform you about the development of this case.

Antti Rautiainen

For A Free And Independent Kurdistan!
KURD-L Archives -

Arm The Spirit
Thu, 2 Oct 1997

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