Wednesday 1/20/21
POLICE INVESTIGATING

Former prime minister Juha Sipilä assaulted near parliament

Tabloid Iltalehti, which broke the story, said he had suffered bruising.

Former prime Minister Juha Sipilä. Photo: Laura Kotila/Vnk/file photo.
Former prime Minister Juha Sipilä. Photo: Laura Kotila/Vnk/file photo.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and other leading politicians on Tuesday condemned a recent assault on a former prime minister that occurred near parliament.

Juha Sipilä, former Centre Party leader and prime minister from 2015 to 2019, told broadcaster MTV3 that he had been punched on 7 January by an unknown assailant who also shouted abuse at him.

Sipilä did not state whether he had sustained any injuries.

Tabloid Iltalehti, which broke the story, said he had suffered bruising.

Police are now investigating the incident.

"A assault on a member of parliament harms both individuals and the entire parliament," Marin, leader of the Social Democrats, wrote on Twitter.

'Political violence'

Parliamentary speaker Anu Vehvilainen and member of the Centre Party said on Twitter: "The physical integrity of representatives is an important part of a credible democracy. We Finns can never accept that our representatives are subjected to violence."

Paavo Arhinmaki, lawmaker for the Left Alliance and former party leader, said "political violence must not be allowed in Finland."

The head of parliament security, Jukka Savola, told public broadcaster YLE that incidents of this kind were "very rare" and considered that this was considered a one-off occurrence.

Finland is due to hold local elections on April 18.

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