Finland’s police are monitoring social media more closely amid fears of an inti-immigrant backlash following the suspected racially-motivated murders in an Oulu bar last week.
Two men were hacked to death with an axe in the city’s Tuira district in full view of staff and patrons. The suspect, who was shot dead as police tried to arrest him, was said to have “dark skin”. He is believed to have lived in Finland for a number of years but was said to be of a “foreign background”; however, police have not released details of his identity.
Detective Inspector Ari-Pekka Kouva said on Monday that police were now monitoring social media incase anti-immigrant sentiment “boiled over”. He revealed that neighbourhood patrols were currently on high alert and that social media was being watched more closely than normal.
There has been widespread concern among authorities that the double murder would lead to an increase in anti-immigrant feeling, but Kouva said they wanted to make it clear this was an “individual act”. He noted that the suspect has “mental health problems” and was not in any way representative of immigrants in Finland.