How to murder society: First, convict all your comics…
Multiple requests for investigation of old TV series filed with Helsinki police – asked to investigate incitement against ethnic group
Prosecutor General Toiviainen opened an investigation into Päivi Räsänen’s old writing in early November, and Pirkka-Pekka Petelius apologized for his old sketches.
A number of requests have been made to the Helsinki Police to investigate TV series with a release date. They ask to investigate possible incitement against an ethnic grop, the police are told by the BTI.
According to the police, due to the requests for investigation, the police have launched a preliminary investigation under the Pre-Investigation Act. While the case is still pending, the police will not tell which publications or to whom the investigation requests have been addressed.
The assessment of the crime of old cultural products or writings in the light of current legislation has sparked debate after the opening of an investigation by the Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen at the beginning of November on an old writing on homosexuality by MP Päivi Räsänen.
Räsänen’s text related to a statement published in 2004 by the Luther Foundation in Finland, where she claims, among other things, that current sexual education combined with homosexuality approval may open the door to sexual abuse.
Same investigator as Räsänen’s pamphlet
Markku Silén, the Helsinki Police Criminal Commissioner, has been appointed as the head of investigation of television programs. He is the same man who came to the conclusion earlier this fall that there is no reason to suspect a crime in Räsänen’s pamphlet.
Silén justified his long and ponderous decision in September by stating that Räsänen’s pamphlet is a conservative, ecclesiastical and spiritually motivated statement on the state of Finnish society in the early 2000s.
– Räsänen has written her pamphlet on a position from which the influence of conservative Christian values on Finnish social policy is diminishing, he explained.
According to Silén, decision-making was concerned, among other things, with the extent to which a religious person or religious community can express morally-oriented interpretations of the family values prevailing in society, which return to their own religious beliefs.
“If, for example, some of the views in the Bible were to be regarded as per se an offense of incitement the dissemination or making available of the Bible would in principle be punishable as an offense of incitement,” Silén concluded.
However, Prosecutor General Toiviainen ordered the investigation to be opened, arguing that he had weighed up fundamental and human rights on freedom of expression, religion and non-discrimination, unlike the police.
The BTI has not reached out to Sileni to comment on the potential impact of the decision of the Prosecutor General on the weighing of the police in assessing the legality of old cultural products that are offensive in the light of current morality.
Petelius apologized for the old Sámi sketches
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, the Greens’ MP, yesterday issued a public apology to all Sámi after Helsingin Sanomat asked Toiviais in an interview whether Petelius and Aake Kalliala’s old TV sketches could fulfill the character of crime.
Petelius’s apology concerned television series made by Petelius in the 1980s and 1990s, which portrayed the Sami in a discriminatory and distorting way.
– I apologize for the detrimental effect that sketches have had. I understand my responsibility as a Member of Parliament and as a cultural figure, Petelius said.
According to Petelius, sketches are products of his time and he does not sign them today. Petelius hopes that problematic sketches will no longer be consciously presented. Petelius and Kalliala made sketch humor about the Sámi in the Smile Lips, Pulttibois and Manitbois sketch series.
Petelius’s act garnered praise and criticism on Twitter. Mikkel Näkkäläjärvi , the Sámi chairman, among others, praised Petelius for his actions. Instead, some asked why Petelius did not apologize to the other minorities he was once joking about, and for how long apologies must be made.
Petelius later added on Twitter that he was ready to discuss with other minorities and said he had already sent a request for a meeting to the Romanian Advisory Council.