Politics

Bible-Quoting Politician Prosecuted For Third Time After Acquittals

Senior Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen is dealing with being hauled via the courts once more over “homophobic” Tweets and writings going again 20 years, regardless of having been acquitted within the case twice already.

The Finnish Public Prosecutor is interesting a November 2023 court docket determination that Päivi Räsänen, a long-serving member of Parliament, occasion chief, and former nationwide inside minister was exercising free speech when she quoted the bible and mentioned homosexuality on a number of events from 2004 to 2019. Räsänen is the previous chief of the Finnish Christian Democrats Party and holds orthodox views on the problem, having described homosexuality as a “disorder of psychosexual development” prior to now and quoted verses from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans on Instagram.

The District Court of Helsinki has already acquitted Räsänen unanimously on the hate speech expenses in 2022, which had been filed underneath the a part of Finland’s prison code which offers with “war crimes and crimes against humanity”, ruling “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts”. This was appealed, taking it to the Helsinki Court of Appeal which once more dismissed the case unanimously, and on the identical grounds, in November of final 12 months.

The Public Prosecutor is now pushing the matter as much as the Supreme Court, reports Finnish public broadcaster YLE, claiming it needs to settle the connection “between freedom of religion and freedom of speech and the prohibition of discrimination, and when expressions must be considered as punishable hate speech”. The prosecutor is looking for hefty fines and censorship of Räsänen’s writings.

The recent prosecution is outwardly going forward regardless of Räsänen’s Christian Democrats Party now being in authorities, as a part of the brand new Finnish right-wing coalition.

The Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADF), which has supported Räsänen, has known as the dogged willpower of the prosecutor to get a conviction out of Räsänen regarding and advised the prosecutor was utilizing the limitless court docket circumstances as a way to punish Räsänen, even when they by no means finish in a sentence.

Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF, mentioned of the case: “Dragging people through the courts for years, subjecting them to hour-long police interrogations, and wasting taxpayer money in order to police people’s deeply held beliefs has no place in a democratic society. As is so often the case in ‘hate speech’ trials, the process has become the punishment.”

Räsänen herself stays bullish, vowing to battle and welcoming the prospect to get one other ruling in her favour within the highest court docket of the land, which might set a robust precedent in favour of free speech.

She is reported to have mentioned: “After my full exoneration in two courts, I’m not afraid of a hearing before the Supreme Court. Even though I am fully aware that every trial carries risks, an acquittal from the Supreme Court would set an even stronger positive precedent for everyone’s right to free speech and religion. And if the Court decided to overturn the lower courts’ acquittals, I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion as far as the European Court of Human rights, if necessary”.



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