Finland / District Court of Northern Karelia / R 13/315
Finland / District Court of Northern Karelia / R 13/315View full Case
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Crime type(s) concerned/related
Incitement to violence or hatred
Related hate bias motivation
Nationality Ethnic origin
Black people or of African origin
The District Court of Northern Karelia (Pohjois-Karjalan Käräjäoikeus/Norra Karelens Tingsrätt)
Key facts of the case
A man was found guilty of incitement to hatred after he published a message on his Facebook page containing insults and slander against Somali nationals, including statements that they live on social welfare benefits and that "they rape women". The prosecution stated that it is not acceptable to spread such views in public. The defendant claimed that the message was a commentary on a news article, and as such, it should not be interpreted out of context.
The court found that the defendant was guilty of spreading information, in which a certain group (Somali nationals) was threatened, defamed or insulted on the basis of their national or ethnic origin, available to the public. Freedom of expression may be subject to limitation in such a case. Thus the defendant was found guilty for the crime of incitement to hatred prohibited by the Criminal Code.
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
Freedom of expression cannot prevail when its exercise violates other values to which the law provides adequate protection. These values arise from the need to defend equality established in the constitutional order.
Results (sanctions, outcome) and key consequences or implications of the case
The defendant was ordered to pay 30 day fines (1 980 euros).
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