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Ohisalo: Finland still one of the safest countries in the world

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo told Yle that Finland remains one of the safest countries in the world. 

Maria Ohisalo.
Maria Ohisalo Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Finland’s Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo once again condemned the attack on Tuesday that left one person dead and nine others injured at Savo Vocational College in Kuopio, eastern Finland.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Ohisalo maintained that the authorities had done a sound job in a terrible situation, but that they should ensure information flows between different agencies function well and that their emergency procedures are up to the task.

“This shouldn’t happen in this society, or anywhere,” said Ohisalo. “There should be zero tolerance for violence.”

Despite the violence in Savo, Ohisalo reiterated that such acts are rare in Finland.

“We have many tasks in this, although we also emphasise that Finland is still one of the safest countries in the world,” added the Green Party chair. “Schools’ readiness plans should be up-to-date so that schools and educational institutions know how to react in these situations.”

Police confirmed the identity of the suspect to Yle, who remains in hospital with serious injuries sustained when he was detained.

Joel Otto Aukusti Marin was born in 1994 and targeted mainly women aged between 15 and 50. He is from Siilinjärvi, 20km from Kuopio, and graduated from high school there in 2014. In 2015 he moved to student housing in Kuopio.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ohisalo expressed the view that social exclusion must be tackled.

“And we also have to ensure that nobody in this society can be excluded to such an extent that they feel like this kind of cowardly act is their last resort,” said the minister.

Kuopio University Hospital said on Wednesday morning that four people remained in hospital with light injuries, while a further two were in intensive care. Four more had already been allowed to return home.

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