Finland Human Rights
The trial of François Bazaramba, a Rwandan national residing in Finland, began in September at Porvoo District Court. He faced charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and incitement to commit genocide in Rwanda in 1994 (see Rwanda entry). In September, civil society groups, including Amnesty International, called for adequate protection measures to be implemented for witnesses at the trial.
Violence against women and girls
Protection and redress for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence continued to be inadequate in law and in practice. Rape continued to be categorized differently in the Penal Code depending on the degree of physical violence used or threatened by the perpetrator. The conviction rate for rape remained very low and certain categories of rape and other forms of sexual abuse were investigated and prosecuted only if the victim so requested.
Refugees and asylum-seekers
Accelerated asylum-determination procedures failed to guarantee adequate protection for asylum-seekers, including by not providing a suspensive in-country right of appeal. This led to some asylum-seekers being expelled while their appeals were pending.
Increasing numbers of asylum-seekers were returned to other EU member states for determination of their asylum claim under the Dublin II Regulation. Over the year, transfers under Dublin II amounted to 35 per cent of all the decisions taken by the authorities arising from asylum applications. The majority of these returns were to other EU member states where asylum-determination procedures and reception conditions, including detention, gave rise to serious concern.