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Police investigate asylum seeker death in Helsinki

Helsinki police are investigating the death of an Iraqi asylum seeker at a reception centre in Helsinki. The Finnish Red Cross tells Yle News that the cause of death is still unknown.

Map of Ruskeasuo, Helsinki
Staff at the reception centre discovered the death Monday morning. Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Chief Inspector Teemu Kruskopf confirmed to Yle News that Helsinki police are investigating the case of an 18-year-old Iraqi man whose body was found on Monday morning.

"It came to our attention at 9.20 am on Monday," said Kruskopf. "There will be an inquiry into the death and an autopsy, but the details will be classified. So we will not be making any more public statements about this case."

Timo Nyholm, director of Finnish Red Cross reception centres in the Helsinki and Uusimaa regions, confirmed on earlier Tuesday that an 18-year-old asylum seeker had died at the Ruskeasuo reception centre in western Helsinki the previous day.

He told Yle News that the deceased was discovered by staff between eight and nine Monday morning. However he did not reveal the man’s nationality.

"A very sad case"

Nyholm said that the cause of death is not yet known and police are investigating according to normal procedure. He described the incident as "a very sad case" and said that staff and residents at the centre have been offered crisis counselling.

The Finnish Immigration Service told Yle News that it was aware of the incident, but said that it does not comment on individual cases.

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