Asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan have been protesting in central Helsinki against Finland’s tough immigration and asylum policies for more than two weeks. They say there are significant shortcomings in the processing of their applications — and they are still unhappy after a meeting with the Immigration Service on Monday.
Finnish immigration authorities have tightened the rules for considering asylum applications following the arrival of more than 30,000 people seeking refuge from conflict in 2015.
The influx caught the government flat-footed and officials have been trying to address the flood of asylum applications by expediting asylum hearings. In other cases, they have declared countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq safe for return, arguing that asylum seekers can return to safe zones.