HELSINKI, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila Wednesday commented on a criminal investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children by at least seven men of foreign background.
The incidents had taken place over several months, but the scale of the alleged crimes surfaced in November. While strongly condemning the alleged crimes, Sipila underlined the legal system will process the cases after the police investigation.
Comments by cabinet members about ongoing criminal investigations are rare in Finland.
Local observers have noted the incidents in Oulu, northern Finland are making the sex crimes by asylum seekers a focal issue with half a year to go before the general election in April 2019.
In Oulu, the police on Tuesday issued a warning to girls. The police suspects that girls could still be enticed on the internet.
In 2015 there were several sex crimes allegedly committed by asylum seekers in the news.
Earlier this year the Finnish government submitted a bill to the parliament to increase the penalties for sex crimes on children. The bill would make it possible to sentence ten-year imprisonment for aggravated rape of a child. The change was not driven particularly due to immigrant crimes.
For decades the Finnish court system has regarded prison sentences as rehabilitation from criminality, rather than a retaliation or suffering inflicted on a criminal. Prison sentences are generally shorter than in many other countries due to the relatively high cost of offering prison accommodation.