Police advise all at the campus area to report any sightings of a person distributing anti-Islamic flyers. Detective Inspector Sami Joutjärvi notes that the last time the police heard of the matter was in May. Flyers have been found at the University library but also at the department of psychology, with the most recent ones spotted on 11 August. Some of the flyers have mentioned a university staff member by name.
‘In May, we advised the University safety officer to stay alert, and the police are advising citizens to do the same. It’s likely the police won’t be able to catch the suspect without assistance. There are several surveillance cameras and lots of people moving at the campus area which makes it highly probable that someone has seen something,’ Joutjärvi said.
‘As the head investigator, I’d like to tell you that we have caught the culprit, but this time that’s not the case. We have a suspect, however.’ In May, this case was recorded as incitement to hatred. A single flyer is hardly enough evidence to prove criminal activity, but Joutjärvi noted that flyers were found at health centres and other public areas too. In addition, there were anti-Islamic messages displayed on highways such as the Kuopiontie overpass. ‘As we saw in the 90’s, these types of situations can become a real problem in Joensuu, and no one wants to see that happen again. That’s why we need to take action. Police are not underestimating this situation.’
Joutjärvi is of the opinion that the xenophobic movement may have started to quiet down – evident in the recent absence of Soldiers of Odin groups patrolling the streets of Joensuu. ‘Perhaps whoever is behind these flyers will lose interest, too.’