Police cut down the timber tripod structure with a chainsaw, but would not allow the act to be photographed or recorded.
Finland’s National Police Board has vowed to investigate an incident at a logging protest in Lapland last week, when police stopped activists filming officers cutting down a log tripod the demonstrators had built to prevent logging activities.
Protesters managed to halt logging at the Aalistunturi fell site on several occasions before last week’s incident.
On Monday 20 February, a small group of demonstrators set up a tripod made of logs in the middle of the logging road. Police cut down the timber tripod structure with a chainsaw, but would not allow the act to be photographed or recorded.
Jyrki Kivirinta, the head of Oulu police department’s surveillance emergency operations unit, told newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that the photography ban was justified because the demolition of the structure was a tactical and technical method used by the police.
He said such methods should not be made public because they are, in principle, secret.
“They are not to be photographed,” he told HS.
Deputy chief of the Lapland police department, Jyrki Pelkonen, offered a similar opinion to local newspaper Lapin Kansa, saying that they were tactical and technical methods used by police.
However, University of Eastern Finland law professor Tomi Voutilainen told the local paper that he thought the police clearly overstepped their authority in the situation.
The logging site protesters, who call themselves Metsäliike, includes activists from groups including Extinction Rebellion, the Finnish Nature Alliance and Greenpeace.
They have demanded that the state-owned forest management firm Metsähallitus stop logging in the area until conservation proposals have been processed by the Ministry of the Environment.