Rome Newsroom, Nov 14, 2023 / 04:55 am
A court of appeal dismissed all charges of “hate speech” and “ethnic agitation” against Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen on Tuesday in what has been hailed as a victory for free speech.
The Finnish member of Parliament had been charged in 2021 after publicly sharing in 2019 her biblical, religious views on marriage as between one man and one woman.
Though Räsänen, 63, was unanimously acquitted by a Finnish District Court in 2022, prosecutors appealed her acquittal to the Helsinki Court of Appeal. The former minister of the interior faced the possibility of tens of thousands of euros in fines and two years in prison.
On Nov. 14, the Helsinki Court of Appeal unanimously ruled to uphold the 2022 acquittal, finding that it had “no reason, on the basis of the evidence received at the main hearing, to assess the case in any respect differently from the district court. There is therefore no reason to alter the final result of the district court’s judgment.”