Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) has encouraged people to respect one another when engaging in political debates. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)


PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) has expressed his disapproval with the recent remarks of Abdirahim Hussein (SDP), a councillor for the City of Helsinki.

“Under no circumstances do I want to hear someone evaluate people based on their voting behaviour or, overall, unjustifiably brand them in any way without knowing them. I don’t think this is what our political debate needs,” Rinne stated to Iltalehti on Wednesday.

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“I’ve been very concerned about the debate climate in recent years. The feature it’s missing or losing is people respecting one another,” he added.

Hussein last Friday stated on Twitter that “all Finns Party members and supporters are racist”. Police have been asked to determine whether his comment meets the elements of a criminal offence, namely ethnic agitation.

Toni Malminen, a counsel at Hannes Snellman, told Uusi Suomi on Tuesday that Hussein’s comment is unlikely to result in a criminal conviction, even though it generally fits the description of hate speech.

Matti Tolvanen, a professor of criminal and procedural law at the University of Eastern Finland, has contrastively estimated that the controversial tweet could satisfy the essential elements of ethnic agitation.

“It probably meets the threshold for investigation. It contains elements that, if someone has filed a request for inquiry, the police will have no choice but to investigate,” he commented in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi