Migration control office closed in Helsinki

demonstrators create "temporary counter-office" outside

11.Oct.02 - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) office in Helsinki, Finland, closed its doors to both customers and demonstrators today, friday 11.10.2002. A notice announcing that the office would remain closed all day, attached to the front door of the office, was the only "dialogue" the IOM would offer to protesters, even though staff could be heard moving inside.

As a response, the protesters created a "temporary counter-office" that distributed information about the IOM, how it controls migration and acts as a middle-man for inhuman deportations.

"That the IOM closes its doors to dialogue shows that the organisation bears no responsibility for its actions. Even when we were asking questions through their door, they would not respond", said Katja Tuominen, one of the protesters.

The event was a part of the global week of actions (11.-19.10.2002) for the right to the freedom of movement, which attempts to spotlight the racist practices of the IOM and EU states. The Helsinki IOM office is especially responsible for the Baltic region, and has a major role in developing Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia into efficient managers of migration.

The campaign in Helsinki will continue with a demonstration against the detention centre and ex-prison Katajanokka on tuesday 15.10.2002.