A victory for free speech against the far-right and “racist clowns”

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Due process takes a long time in Finland as the landmark Johanna Vehkoo against far-right agitator Junnes Lokka, whom she called in a Facebook “a Nazi clown” and “a racist.” Surprisingly, a Rovaniemi appeal court upheld a prior Oulu district court ruling that Vehkoo had defamed Lokka.

Today’s ruling by the supreme court dismissed the prior ruling by the appeal and district courts.

“The supreme court ruling is important because members of Finland’s far-right and Islamophobic groups can also be criticized and fall under scrutiny. Moreover, the ruling reveals that some courts are not up to speed on racism and the threat of the far-right.”

Lokka’s case, if the supreme court had upheld the prior rulings, would have made it difficult to criticize politicians who use racism to advance their political aims.

Read the full story here.

While the Oulu appeal court ruled against Vehkoo because her comments were against Lokka’s person, the supreme court took a different view.

“In view of the derogatory and hostile statements made by Lokka in public, the terms used in the [Facebook post] text are not considered to have gone beyond what could be considered acceptable,” reported Yle News, citing the KKO stated in its judgment.


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