Morning headlines: Wednesday 6th March 2019

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Huge number of women are victims of sexual violence each year

A new report from Amnesty International being released today shows that as many as 50,000 women in Finland are victims of sexual violence each year. The report will be presented an a seminar today attended by former President Tarja Halonen, Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen (NCP) and Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo. The report shows that the treatment of rape victims varies across Finland, described as a “lottery”, and finds that most victims do not even report the sexual violence to police. According to Amnesty, women who do go to the police too often encounter a system that ignores, denies and tacitly accepts sexual violence against women. The statistics which Amnesty analysed show that of 1245 rapes reported to the police in 2017, only 17% resulted in a conviction in a court ruling. The report concludes that impunity for sexual violence in Finland is still very common.

Sámi fishing rights court decision due

Lapland District Court is expected to deliver a verdict today, in the case of five Sámi fishermen who were fishing without a license. The five fished without permits on Vetsijoki and Utsjoki rivers in summer 2017, and then turned themselves in, as a way to get a court to hear the case. The court decision boils down to whether Sámi people have innate rights to fish on rivers and lakes in their traditional homeland areas, or whether they need to apply for permits from the Finnish state.

PM heads to Baltic States, Poland

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) starts a two-day swing through the Baltic States and Poland today, meeting with heads of government. He begins first in Lithuania, meeting President Dalia Grybauskaité; then goes to Poland where he meets Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. He continues the trip on Thursday meeting Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, and Estonian Prime Minister Jȕri Ratas. On the agendas are talks ahead of Finland taking over the EU Presidency later this year, as well as bilateral relations between the two countries. Sipilä plans to meet all EU leaders for similar talks ahead of Finland’s EU Presidency role.

Wednesday morning weather

It’s a very cold start to the day, with temperatures on Wednesday morning ranging from -9C in Lapland to -26C around Joensuu. Even Åland, which usually enjoys slightly more mild weather, is waking up to temperatures as low as -15C. There’s some snow in parts of Lapland, but generally there’s a great deal of bright sunshine around, especially anywhere south of Lapland.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 6th March 2019 / Credit: FMI