Does a Billboard in Finland Promote Rape by Refugees?

A photograph purportedly showing a billboard in Finland that condones rape is fake.

  • Published 11 January 2016


A billboard in Finland states that it is legal for refugees to rape women.



In January 2016, several disreputable web sites such as USA Daily Politics and Jews News published a photograph purportedly showing a billboard in Finland that stated that it was legal for refugees arriving in that country to rape women:

rape billboard fake

This image does not depict a real billboard in Finland. It’s a fake picture that has been circulating online since at least 2008 and was likely created back then in an attempt to tarnish Finland’s Green League political party Vihreat.

The fabricated image was based on a real billboard that was posted by Doctors Without Borders in Liberia. The real billboard said nothing about “refugees” or Finland’s Green League political party; instead, it instructed rape victims to “seek free treatment immediately” at a local clinic:

rape billboard real

The altered photograph, which was changed from its original to show three dark-skinned men assaulting a blonde woman, plays to popular racist tropes about swarthy men and helpless fair-skinned women, which has been used as an excuse for violence against minorities for generations.
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes