A Finnish minister has apologised and deleted an Instagram poll in which she asked whether the government should allow women with links to Isis to return from Syria or only their children.

Katri Kulmuni​, who became the country’s finance minister this week, was criticised by a human rights group for her poll.

Her Centre Party opposes letting mothers linked to Isis return from Syria.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

“Seriously, Finland? This is awful, if true,” Andrew Stroehlein, European media director at Human Rights Watch, tweeted on Thursday.

“A state should respect the rights of its citizens in all cases, not put life-and-death decisions about those citizens to a public referendum on social media. What’s next, public hangings based on the volume of stadium cheers?”

Ms Kalmuni, 32, said she had been expressing the views of the party she leads and highlighting divisions on the issue with other parties in the five-party governing coalition.

“My aim to have a discussion on social media about a complicated topic failed. I apologise for the poll,” Ms Kulmuni tweeted on Friday.

“My IG [Instagram] poll aroused condemnation, it has been removed. The style was unsuccessful.”

It came after Sanna Marin, the country’s new prime minister, said the government had given its “silent blessing” for the foreign ministry to go ahead with a plan to repatriate the children.

However, the children cannot be repatriated without their mothers because the Syrian Kurdish forces holding them oppose separating children from their mothers, Pekka Haavisto, the foreign office minister, said.

Many European countries are contemplating how to deal with citizens who travelled to Syria to marry Isis fighters.

At least 11 Finnish women and more than 30 children are being held at al-Hol camp.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Population decline points to mass extinction – study

Bumblebees are in drastic decline across Europe and North America owing to hotter and more frequent extremes in temperatures, scientists say. A study suggests the likelihood of a bumblebee population surviving in any given place has declined by 30% in…

Brazil declares COVID-19 state of emergency as Bolsonaro approval slips

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil declared a state of emergency on Friday, freeing up funds for the federal government to fight a coronavirus crisis that has hurt the popularity of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government. The Senate approved a measure…

‘Cosplay democracy’: North Korea’s assembly holds rare meeting

Seoul, South Korea – While much of the world is suspending its local elections and political gatherings to cope with COVID-19, North Korea will push ahead with a massive gathering of delegates later this week. North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly,…

Baby blues as some mothers separated from newborn amid COVID-19 fears

Having a baby is stressful enough in normal times. Now the coronavirus pandemic is adding a whole new layer of angst to the experience. A growing number of hospitals in France and other countries won’t allow fathers to attend their…