Iraqi, Afghan Migrants Vastly Over-Represented in Sex Attack Statistics

Finnish police patrols in front of the Cenral Railway Station in Helsinki on August 18, 2017. Finnish Police announced they will rise the readiness after stabbings in Turku. / AFP PHOTO / Lehtikuva / Linda Manner / Finland OUT (Photo credit should read LINDA MANNER/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers were up to 40 times more likely than native Finns to be suspects in sexual crimes in Finland in 2017, according to official statistics.

Statistics for the first 11 months of 2018 show a similar result, with Iraqi asylum seekers and migrants being suspected in a total of 157 sexual offences, making them the most numerous of any foreign group in the statistics — despite only being the third-largest minority in the country, behind Russians and Estonians, Ilta-Sanomat reports.

Finnish refugee councillor Ala Saeed explained that part of the reason is that Iraqis, especially those from older clans, have cultural norms in which men are able to do anything they like to women without consequences.

“Many women are being raped, but they do not even tell their mother about the fear of their honour,” Saeed said.

Honour culture has become a major issue in neighbouring Sweden, where some organisations estimate that as many as a quarter of a million young people from migrant backgrounds live under some form of honour culture.

It has led to girls in Sweden being forced into marriages overseas and sometimes subjected to violence from family members, including honour killings.

One such killing occurred in Stockholm’s suburb of Årsta in September of 2015 and saw a man brutally stab his wife 66 times and mutilate her face by cutting off her upper lip and nose.

Tuija Hietaniemi, Special Investigator at Finland’s Central Criminal Police, noted that she had seen asylum applications where women were afraid to let their husbands know they had previously been raped due to honour culture.

“She’s afraid that a man will kill her if he gets to hear it. Applications are therefore usually taken separately by the spouses,” she said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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