Finnish Foreign Minister investigates allegations of pressure on Finnish children to be repatriated from Syria

The Finnish parliament’s foreign affairs committee launched an investigation Monday into allegations that Foreign Minister Pika Havisto was putting pressure on a ministry official to take back Finnish children from Syria.

Local media circulated allegations that Havisto had earlier pressured the ministry’s director general of consular services, Pasi Tiomanen, to repatriate Finnish children from the Al Houl camp in northeastern Syria.

The newspaper “İlta-Sanomat” explained that “Havisto” instructed “Tyumenin” to return the children from the camp through the diplomatic mission. The instructions did not include the return of the mothers of the children.

The newspaper added that the official rejected the minister’s instructions, due to violation of domestic and international laws, to be dismissed from his post.

Havisto said in a press statement that his powers empower him to change ministry officials, declining to comment on the possibility of the return of Tyumenin to his post, or the return of Finnish citizens from Syria.

In this context, the Committee requested the Minister to provide clarifications on the subject.

According to Finnish intelligence data, about 80 Finnish citizens went to war zones in Syria and Iraq, some of whom joined the organization.

There are 11 Finnish women in the Al Houl camp set up by the BYD militia in Al Hasakah governorate in north-eastern Syria, accompanied by some 30 of their children.