Left Alliance parliament candidate suspends campaign after alleged attack

Helsinki Police say they're investigating the incident as a case of minor assault and defamation.

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File picture of Left Alliance parliamentary candidate Suldaan Said Ahmed / Credit: Candidate's FB

A parliamentary candidate for the Left Alliance says he was attacked and verbally abused in east Helsinki on Monday.

Suldaan Said Ahmed wrote on social media that the incident happened in the metro station at Itäkeskus, as he was leaving a campaign event carrying election materials.

A man accosted the Helsinki city councillor, tore up his election campaign leaflets and called him a pedophile and an abuser, according to a post on Twitter.

Said Ahmed he went onto the metro, but the man followed him to the train, at which time he called the police.

Officers joined the train at Kontula metro station but the man fled by bike. Said Ahmed was able to give a description to police, and decided not to do any more campaigning for the rest of Monday.

“Threats and violence are not part of democracy. Everyone must be able to do election work without fear. Now all is well. I’m home for the day and cancelled all electoral events” says the candidate.

Left Alliance leader Li Andersson calls the alleged incident “worrying and sad”.

“Every day you have to read about attacks on candidates. Everyone has the right to participate in political activities safely, without fear of attacks or racist crimes” she says.

Helsinki Police says they’re looking into the incident.

“The case is being investigated as mild assault and defamation” a police statement says.