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Friday's papers: Asylum seeker victory, election bonanza and the plight of the homeless

Today's papers take a look at an asylum seeker case, candidacies in multiple elections and how Finland's homeless have been affected by the country's recent deep-freeze temperatures.

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File photo. Image: Lena Nelskylä / Yle

Daily Helsingin Sanomat reports about a homosexual Nigerian asylum seeker whose negative asylum application was overturned by the Administrative Court. The court in Helsinki decided to grant Lisa and her baby asylum in Finland in part due to revelations by her new lawyer that the interpreter in the initial asylum hearing with immigration officials had trouble understanding her - and vice versa.

While in Nigeria, Lisa's female partner was killed and as she was escaping the country Lisa was raped, resulting in a pregnancy. The court said in this case it would be unconscionable to send Lisa and her child back to Nigeria.

However the court did not express a view on whether homosexual asylum seekers should be repatriated to Nigeria in general, a country which human rights organisations call one of the most dangerous places for sexual minorities in the world.

"Three chair" problem

Chair of the Green party Touko Aalto is concerned about Finland's three upcoming elections, according to the Keskisuomalainen newspaper. Aalto has proposed that political parties agree on a policy to select different candidates for the general, regional and communal elections as the "problem of three chairs" could cause conflicts of interest in budgeting for example.

Aalto said that even though law permits politicians to run for office in multiple elections, in a democracy the same people should not be deciding matters in three separate capacities. It is also a question of time, he adds.

Frigid weather takes toll on Finland's homeless

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat draws attention to the plight of the homeless in the freezing weather that has continued across Finland for quite a while now. Temperatures below -10 degrees are a health risk to people, and according to two social workers interviewed by the paper sometimes the homeless end up having their toes amputated due to frostbite.

In order to keep warm, some walk around the city while others seek shelter in public places that remain open throughout the night. However for the homeless rain is even worse than freezing weather. All their possessions get wet and they have no possibility to dry them, the social workers say.

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