Get out of the car, we're taking you to a blood test! Shout two medium aggressive armed police officers in the middle of the night, after stopping me on my way home from work.

This time the two armed cops at least seem somewhat reasonable, so I'm not in fear of my life as much as the previous time. They of course don't care if they have any cause to detain me or not, but I have come to expect that from Finnish Police already.

I will update this with links and more accurate case study as time permits, but for now I'm writing this off memory.

Civil rights in Finland

The Finnish Supreme Court has ruled that you both have the right to refuse to give a breathalyzer sample to police, nor can not giving up your rights be the basis for a reasonable suspicion of breaking the law, that is needed for police to be allowed to use coercion or detain you.
You are required by law to follow all legal orders given by police, but the law also stipulates that you are allowed to resist unlawful orders with force if needed. This of course is not possible in practice, since you are not allowed to carry any form of self defense weapon with you (on you or even in your car). Yes, even a knife or baseball bat can be considered a "weapon" by the courts. While the police often carry firearms, and even their reckless use is accepted by the courts (luckily these events are at least rare).
Police brutality is also very much a thing in Finland. It's unknown how widespread it is, but the media has even covered many horrific cases over the past years.
A police dog gets loose "by accident" and bites a handcuffed suspect being held down by police for so long and so hard that surgery was needed, and will have permanent damage. Courts say it's ok.
A restrained guy in a jail cell gets beaten up by 10 cops so bad that he dies. After he dies some cops manage to resuscitate him and call a ambulance. Courts say it's ok, handing out a very small fine to only a couple of the cops. For in reality, murder.
Anti-protest police brutality is worked around by covering up name plates, and swapping helmets among themselves (these are numbered, to theoretically be able to determine who did what) to be able to claim "it wasn't me". Courts say it's ok.

Basically police and the courts (especially the lower courts) make it very clear that police officers can do anything they want. And order you to do anything they want. Regardless if it's within their powers or not. With zero accountability. A extremely dangerous situation for any nations civil rights.

Round one

Last time I was illegally detained the police officers plainly stated that it was because I wouldn't give up my rights. One of them was also acting extremely aggressively. Not a very safe situation to be in. Being grabbed from a safe normal car, and put in the back of a police van with no seat belt... jikes. Especially considering that back then 50% of police vehicles had not had their mandatory yearly vehicle inspection (road salt and rust actually makes this kind-of reasonable). And seeing police cars in the news on their roof in ditches is not uncommon.
They also threatened to revoke my drivers license. But suddenly after they had got a blood sample at a shady police "lab", they apparently had inflicted the requisite amount retaliation for not giving up my rights.
I demanded that they provide me with a explanation of what had happened on paper. Which they are required to provide. That took about another hour. They apparently had to think up some legal reason for their illegal detention. So they came up with "I acted suspiciously". Strangely enough, they never mentioned anything like that before. But since they confiscate all phones etc, there is no way you can possibly prove that they are lying out of their asses.
As a bonus they bumped me back home, instead of back to my car. So had to take a taxi in the morning back to the car. Which they had left with the window open. In a snow storm.
Unfortunately for them, the car had high quality leather upholstery, and took no damage from that.

Second time around

This time around the cops (different cops) again clearly stated that they are taking me to a blood test because I'm not giving up my rights. Even though I explained to them that not giving up rights isn't a legal reason for coercion and detention. Unfortunately for them, this time they both clearly said that I was not in any way acting suspiciously, in front of a witness. On the way to the presumably shady police "lab" again, they apparently realized that they where in fact breaking the law and had no defendable reason for detaining me while talking with their boss over the radio. Oops.
I'm assuming they pulled up information (probably illegally) that they had done the exact same thing once before, with a "0" result on the blood test, and discussed that the police officers had admitted to breaking the law in front of a witness. Higher up police are not dumb here. They know that if they get caught overstepping their powers too many times, the odds that their powers will be limited increases. Most, if not all, bureaucrats and government officials always want as much power as possible, with the least amount of accountability.
So instead of me driving home 5min, they drove me around in a extremely unsafe police van for 30min, and dropped me home.
The police officers refused to identify themselves, which they are required to do, and also claimed that I had just been "driven home", and in fact not detained at all. And they claimed that because I had "not been detained" they where not required to provide any documentation on their actions.
Somehow I ended up against my will in the back of a unsafe police van, but no, "I had not been detained". Sure.
I'm no lawyer, but that sounds fishy to me. Anyway, with only being allowed to take a picture of the police car, and no way to get any police report, I can't even file a complaint. Funny how that tends to work out in favor of the police every time. (I'm even forced to blur out the police van identifiable markings, because the police could most likely otherwise raise a case against me for breach of privacy. Even though courts have ruled that recording police and other officials while they are working is legal)


Most people will not stand up for their rights. Which makes perfect sense given the shady police reputation here in Finland, and the rubber stamping of any and all police actions by lower courts.
But if democracy is to stand any chance, there needs to be civil rights which are not the subject of majority votes. Those rights only last as long as they are exercised though. Otherwise it's too easy for politicians to vote away those rights anyway.
Every now and then someone has to stand up for some right. Luckily the police force here in Finland is not very large. So if a single citizen can consume the work of multiple police officers, that is also a net gain for real-world civil rights. There simply are not enough police to take away every-ones rights at the same time.


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