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Police release climate protesters suspected of insubordination towards officers

Extinction Rebellion's Finnish branch, Elokapina, plans to continue organising demonstrations in Helsinki for the next seven days.

A protester being carried away by police on Thursday evening. Image: Jani Nivala / Yle

Helsinki police have released all 46 climate activist protesters who were detained during a protest organised by Extinction Rebellion Finland that blocked traffic on the city's main thoroughfare, Mannerheimintie, on Thursday.

Police said in a statement issued on Thursday evening that the detained protesters were suspected of insubordination towards officers.

The protesters were released just before 2am on Friday, according to Helsinki police superintendent Jarmo Heinonen, who added that they were not immediately charged or fined.

"The criminal reports will be investigated, then along with the prosecutor we will decide about how to take the matter forward," Heinonen told STT.

A large number of people gathered at the demonstration in front of Parliament House, blocking traffic along Mannerheimintie on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The group has called on Finland's government to declare a climate and environmental emergency, and to create binding legislation that will achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, a decade ahead of the government's current goal of 2035.

On its website, Extinction Rebellion Finland said it plans to continue protests in Helsinki until 14 October.

Edited at 11:16 to clarify the suspected charges.

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