Finland / District Court of Espoo / R 16/249




Finland / District Court of Espoo / R 16/249

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Decision/ruling/judgment date

Monday, January 16, 2017

Crime type(s) concerned/related

Physical violence

Related hate bias motivation

Ethnic origin

Groups affected


Court/Body type

National court


The District Court of Espoo (Espoon käräjäoikeus / Esbo tingsrätt)

Key facts of the case

The victim was attacked by three men while walking on the street in the city of Espoo. These men were unknown to the victim. The men were shouting racist insults at the victim. The victim was targeted because of his dark skin colour. The three men were convicted of assault.

Main reasoning/argumentation

The court considered that the victim´s account of the events is credible and that all three men had participated in assaulting and chasing the victim. They all had shouted racist insults at him. The court concluded that the crime had a racist motive for which an aggravated penalty must be applied.

Is the case related to the application of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, the Racial Equality Directive?

Key issues (concepts, interpretations) clarified by the case

Applying of aggravated penalty due to racist motive

Results (sanctions, outcome) and key consequences or implications of the case

A was sentenced to 70 day fines (420 euros)
B was sentenced to 60 day fines (420 euros)
C was sentenced to 70 day fines (630 euros)

Key quotation in original language and translated into English with reference details

"Vastaajat eivät ole tunteneet [A:ta]. Rasistiset solvaukset ovat alkaneet heti, kun he ovat nähneet [A:n]. Esiin ei ole tullut, että [A] olisi millään tavalla provosoinut vastaajia. […] Vastaajat eivät ole osanneet kertoa teolleen muuta motiivia kuin sen, että [A] on ollut tummaihoinen ulkomaalainen."

"The defendants did not know [A] beforehand. The racist insults had begun immediately after the defendants had seen [A]. Nothing suggests that [A] had in any way provoked the defendants. […] The defendants have not given any other motive to their actions than [A] being a dark-skinned foreigner. "

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