Finland Free Speech Hate Speech laws

Finland: Judge rejects Finns politician’s appeal of conviction for simply repeating quotes already in public domain……..


This entire scenario is an unconscionable, disgusting display of the abuse of power…


Sharing quotes by Jussi Halla-aho brought conviction to an Espoo politician


City councilor Teemu Lahtinen (ps) was fined for incitement of an ethnic group and violation of religious peace.
The Helsinki Court of Appeal did not change the fine imposed on Teemu Lahtinen, chairman of the Espoo Council of the Finns party, by the Western Uusimaa District Court. The Court of Appeal upheld Lahtinen’s 60-day fine for incitement of an ethnic group and violation of religious peace.

In 2017, Lahtinen shared two quotes from an old blog post by Jussi Halla-aho, the current chairman of the Finns, in 2008. Halla-aho has been convicted of these texts in the Supreme Court (KKO). The texts were considered defamatory and slanderous by Somalis and Muslims.

Lahtinen told the Court of Appeal that he did not want to offend anyone or anyone’s religion. His motive was to change the KKO solution. He also felt that as a politician he had the right, or even the ethical duty, to present his belief-based views in order to change legislation. Lahtinen also argued that the same citations had been published in various media without penalty.

However, citing earlier rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (EIT), the Court of Appeal condemned Lahtinen. According to the Court of Appeal, making an objection as part of a political debate does not, by itself, remove the criminal nature of the act.

In his Twitter post, Lahtinen, according to the Court of Appeal, merely reiterated KKO’s punishments. According to the Court of Appeal, he did not make any material criticism or justify his views. The publication of punitive statements as such is not subject to freedom of expression, the Court of Appeal outlines.

The citations published in other media related, according to the Court of Appeal, to substantive news coverage of Halla-aho’s writings and the KKO’s decision. They were not about distributing racist material as such.

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