A Helsinki City councilor has been accused of posting a racist comment on a Facebook group.
National Coalition Party politician Harry Bogomoloff, who has been a deputy chairman of Helsinki City Council since 2005, made the comments on a closed group for people who live in the Kulosaari neighbourhood of east Helsinki.
Bogomoloff confirmed to STT Finnish News Agency that he wrote:
“There are three dark-skinned Balkan men hanging around at the beach park (north shore) without a good reason. For your information”
“The site has been used to tell people about things happening on the island. Among other things, over the years, we have been told when there have been suspicious foreign men in cars” Bogomoloff tells STT.
The post prompted a reaction from fellow city councilor Ozan Yanar (Green).
“How can the vice chair of the Helsinki Council use such language?” asked Yanar, who is originally from Turkey but moved to Finland aged 14.
“How does he look at the ‘dark’ members of the council, if that is his attitude?” Yanar asked.
Media personality Tuomas Enbuske, who recently started a new political movement, said that Bogomoloff’s message was “incomprehensible”.
“Of course there is open racism. But also the idea that anyone would have the right to say someone else is moving around a particular area ‘without a good reason’, and profiling them based on their appearance” said Enbuske.