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Police investigate online threat to Red Cross

A Facebook post idealising the recent violent attacks on migrant reception centres caused outrage on Monday when known politicians were tagged in the post without their knowledge, and after Finns Party MP Laura Huhtasaari publically liked the post. The Finnish Red Cross urges everyone to keep the tone of the asylum-seeker crisis discussions civil.

Vapaaehtoinen ja lapsi Suonenjoen hätämajoituskeskuksessa.
The Finnish Red Cross has received threatening messages before. Image: Toni Pitkänen / Yle

The Finnish Red Cross (FRC) says it has submitted a hate speech social media posting for police investigation. The newspaper Savon Sanomat was first to report the submission.

The message, posted on Facebook by a body-builder who tagged several known politicians, idealises the recent firebombings and other attempted attacks on planned reception centres. The author also wrote that "it is time to extend our activism to the main bases of enemy control", citing the FRC as the "worst enemy".

Finns Party MP Laura Huhtasaari publically "liked" the post, drawing online outrage. Huhtasaari soon came out to claim that she had liked the post by accident. She withdrew her like and wrote a condemning message in reaction to the call to violent action.

Red Cross urges respect

This is not the first time that the FRC has submitted threatening messages to the police. Several such cases cropped up over the autumn.

"We always forward threatening or just plain witless messages to the police," says international aid chief Kalle Löövi from the FRC. "We don't get that many that we actually send in, but this has been our principle in some cases."

The FRC urges all partakers in the discussion on immigration to keep their tone civil.

"We hope for sober and respectful discussion, as well as the chance for our employees and volunteers to work in peace," says FRC spokesperson Inka Kovanen.

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