Helsinki police have issued orders for the pro-asylum seeker group “Right to Live” to decamp from an ongoing demonstration at the city’s Central Railway Station. Police admitted that the protesters had not broken any laws, but cited the “developing security situation” in the city as the reason for the decision.
City police have called on supporters of the pro-asylum seeker “Right to Live” movement to breakdown their protest camp at the Central Railway Station by 7.00pm Friday.
Police say that they will not grant permission for any demonstrations with links to camps that have been removed from the area.
“The decision is based on how the security situation in central Helsinki is developing,” said deputy police chief Heikki Kopperoinen.
According to Kopperoinen the weekend ahead is expected to be one of the busiest in the capital. In an attempt to maintain public order police decided to order the asylum seekers to disperse their camp – although they had not been responsible for any public order disturbances in the area.
“They have not broken the law and you can’t point any fingers at them, but police have had to assess the situation in all of Helsinki,” the officer explained.
Protesters complying with police order
Group spokesperson Outi Popp said that demonstrators had been disappointed by the police decision to scatter the camp.
“The protest did not cause danger of any kind. We have complied with all of the police orders and suggestions all along,” she noted.
The group has not resisted the police order but has begun to clear the camp.
According to Popp the asylum seekers will continue their protest action elsewhere. So far the new location is not known as the group will begin discussions on the matter with police and city officials on Monday.
Earlier this week on Monday, police moved in to remove anti-immigration protesters from the “Finland First” group, who had not complied with a similar order to dismantle their demonstration camp from the railway station.
Police said that the group had been responsible for a number of breaches of the peace and assaults on passersby.