[UPDATE] Police in Jyväskylä say they had to use gas grenades to disperse protesters at the scene. Two people were arrested – one for violence, and the other for disorderly behaviour.
Protesters in Jyväskylä managed to delay police from carrying out orders to detain a family of asylum seekers.
Officers went to an address in the city shortly before noon, to take an Afghan family who had been refused asylum in Finland, and who were to be deported back to their home country. The family includes an eight-month old baby boy who was born in Finland.
But once inside, dozens of protesters prevented police from leaving again, and forced them to wait in the family’s home. As protesters blocked the entrance, police had to call for reinforcements.
“They do not expect a good reception in Afghanistan” says Irma Hirsjärvi from Jyäskylä City Council. Hirsjärvi had come to the scene after being asked by the father of the family, and was following the situation from outside.
“The demonstrators are residents of the reception centre who oppose the removal of the family. I am a city councilor concerned about how this is seen by the whole of Jyväskylä’s Afghan community” she added.
According to the police, when additional officers arrived, they were able to get inside the address after negotiations with protesters, and remove the family as planned.