Finland’s leaders have strongly condemned an assault on a Jewish lawmaker who was assaulted and punched within the face whereas campaigning for the nation’s April 2 normal election
ByJARI TANNER Related Press
HELSINKI — Finland’s leaders strongly condemned an assault on a Jewish lawmaker who was assaulted and punched within the face Saturday whereas campaigning for the nation’s April 2 normal election.
President Sauli Niinisto tweeted that Saturday’s bodily assault on veteran conservative politician Ben Zyskowicz, 68, was “a cowardly act” that delivered a blow to Finnish democracy.
Zyskowicz advised Finnish media that a big man who seemed to be between the ages of 30 and 40 confronted him at a metro station in Helsinki, the capital metropolis that he represents.
The person began yelling, blaming him for Finland’s resolution to affix NATO and hurling antisemitic insults, Zyskowicz advised Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, including that the perpetrator additionally threatened to kill him and to push him onto the subway tracks.
The confrontation became a scuffle, and Zyskowicz reported he was hit within the face and fell on the bottom, struggling bruises, scratches and different minor accidents. Police later apprehended a suspect.
Zyskowicz has served in Finland’s parliament, the Eduskunta, for over 40 years, and is among the most seen representatives of Finland’s Jewish neighborhood.
The lawmaker advised Helsingin Sanomat he thinks his assailant’s motive was political. Zyskowicz is a member of the center-right Nationwide Coalition Celebration, which polls predict is in place to obtain probably the most votes within the upcoming election.
The celebration has advocated for Finland to hunt NATO membership for over 20 years.
“Certainly not should bodily attacking candidates turn out to be a part of Finnish society, not at the same time as a completely marginal phenomenon,” Zyskowicz advised the newspaper.
Political violence is extraordinarily uncommon in Finland. a nation of 5.5 million the place lawmakers and authorities ministers repeatedly transfer round cafes, markets and buying facilities with out guards whereas campaigning, generally getting round on public transportation.
Solely the Finnish head of state and the prime minister are recognized to have physique guards. Prime Minister Sanna Marin condemned the assault on Zyskowicz as “stunning”.
“Everybody will need to have the suitable to marketing campaign in peace, with out the specter of violence. An assault on a candidate is an assault on democracy.” Marin mentioned.