Anti-racist protests staged in Finnish cities

Thousands of people, including the Finnish premier and a former president, took part in demonstrations against racism and violence across several cities in Finland on Saturday.

The marches under the banner "Enough is enough" were staged in response to the fatal assault on a 28-year-old man earlier this month in the capital of Helsinki who had protested against a neo-Nazi group, Finnish broadcaster YLE reported.

The man died September 16 of his injuries, almost a week after he was involved in an altercation with members of the Finnish Resistance Movement.

The man was kicked and hit his head on the ground after reportedly spitting in front of members of the neo-Nazi group.

A 26-year-old man, who police said was an active member of the neo-Nazi group, was Wednesday remanded in custody on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter.

Leading politicians, including Prime Minister Juha Sipila, condemned the incident, and there have been calls to ban racist and extremist organizations.

Police in Helsinki estimated that 15,000 people joined Saturday's march to Senate Square. The rally concluded with short speeches by, among others, former president Tarja Halonen, music and a moment of silence for the deceased 28-year-old.

Two anti-immigration protesters were arrested at two other locations in Helsinki, police said.

Sipila attended an anti-rascist protest Saturday in the city of Kuopio. He said the government was soon to announce new measures concerning extremist groups, YLE reported.

Anti-racist events were also staged without incident in Tampere, Joensuu and Jyvaskyla.

Last update: Sat, 24/09/2016 - 17:38

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