Reclaim the Cape -action week took place in Pyhäjoki 22.4.-1.5.2016 and dozens of people where detained by the police. 11 activists were arrested. Five of them were released in few days after the detention. After this, still six activists were kept in remand prison. One activist still remain in prison.
We have sent money, clean clothes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, cigarettes, books etc. to the prisoners as much as we’ve been able. However, the prisoners haven’t received all packages from their parents or other senders. They also haven’t been able to send or receive letters or postcards.
During the imprisonment of the activists the police hasn’t offered legal facilities for the prisoners. Police says that there hasn’t been resources for example for cleaning cells and in the first few days of imprisonment the prisoners didn’t have possibility to wash up and they didn’t have toilet paper or proper food. Also the prisoners didn’t get outside as much as the legal rights would allow.
On Friday 6.5. there was detention trial of two of the activists. Lawyer described this to be a total lynching and the trial was kept without the prosecutor, only the police was present there. Surprisingly the imprisonment continued. These prisoners were released on Tuesday 10.5., but they are still suspected for violent rioting and violently resisting the police. Any charges have not been pressed yet. After these two activists got out from the prison, unfortunately we got information that the police has been bullying the one activist who is still in prison in the middle of the night.
On Thursday 12.5. two activists have been released from the remand prison and one activist on Friday 13.5., but one activist is still imprisoned. Finally, the police has cleaned up the cell after many days of pressure on them about the issue. They also finally let the prisoner outside. At the moment this prisoner has nothing big to complain about the prison facilities, says their lawyer.
On Monday 16.5. there will be detention trial and after that we will know more about the possible continuation of the imprisonment.
Only the closest family and the lawyer have been allowed to visit or have phone calls with the prisoners. Of course for the prisoners whose parents live outside of Finland this hasn’t been possible because of the distances. The prisoners haven’t received all books that have been sent to the police for them. Our lawyer said, that’s unprecedented and unthinkable.
The prisoners who don’t speak finnish have been forced to speak English with their family, even though they could speak in Swedish. Anyhow, Swedish is the second official language of Finland, that fact doesn’t exist “in the Finnish Northern-Ostrobothnia” according to the police.
There has been also other ways of repression. Two camps got evicted and we are still working on if it happened on the legal way. Police has destroyed the camps by leaving a huge mess behind them. Activists were forced to leave the area before all equipment and personal items were collected which has lead to the situation that a lot of stuff is missing. Police said, that all stuff will be found from Pyhäjoki municipality (later we found out that it means landfill in practise) and Raahe police station, where we haven’t found any of the lost stuff yet.