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Kempele youth asylum reception centre emptied overnight

According to Oulu Police, the unit’s staff made an independent decision to move the residents of the asylum seeker reception centre elsewhere. A demonstration in protest of the shelter was held on Saturday, on the heels of news of an alleged rape of a young girl in the area by an asylum seeker.

Poliisi tutkii nuoren tytön raiskausta Kempeleessä.
Image: Erno Serkosalmi / Yle

Inhabitants of a reception centre for under-aged asylum seekers in the northwest city of Kempele, near Oulu, were transferred to a new location Friday night, emptying the facility, Oulu Police reported. The tabloid Iltalehti was the first to break the news.

Oulu’s Chief Inspector Arto Autio says he cannot reveal the details about the relocation, but said the centre’s personnel decided to move the residents elsewhere independently.

Earlier this week, the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl was reported in Kempele. A 17-year-old young man from a foreign country is suspected to be the perpetrator. According to the news outlet MTV, the suspect is an asylum seeker from Afghanistan.

The case has sparked uproar in Finland, and a demonstration demanding that the Kempele unit be abolished was scheduled in the city for Saturday.

Some 450 people showed interest in attending the event when it was announced, but the Oulu Police estimate that only 200 or so people actually took part. The demonstration began at 2 pm on Saturday, and by 3.30 pm local police said that the “crowds were already abating.”

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