Skip to content
The article is more than 7 years old

President calls for application of existing laws to quash extremist groups

President Sauli Niinistö has pointed out that racism is already a criminal offence in Finland. Speaking from New York, Niinistö also noted that belonging to an organisation intent on criminal activity may already be a punishable offence. He was commenting on a recent case in which a young man passed away, reportedly after an attack from a member of a neo-Nazi group.

Tasavallan presidentti sauli Niinistö
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Image: Yle

Commenting on the case in which a 28 year-old died last Friday, one week after an attack by a member of the neo-Nazi Finnish Resistance Movement, President Sauli Niinistö said that he was shocked by the tragic case.

Niinistö was in New York for a meeting of the United Nations, and offered condolences to the victim’s family.

The president did not directly address the current discussion on whether or not Finland should ban violent extremist organisations, but pointed out that current legislation already allows authorities to intervene in the activities of extreme-right groups.

He noted that racism is already a crime in Finland. He said that because of this, belonging to an organisation that aims to commit violence could be viewed as an offence and therefore punishable.

"Of course such an organisation would gradually begin to wither away," he added.

He speculated that legal experts could approach the task of wiping out extremist organisations in this way.

"It will be seen upon examination whether or not our current criminal legislation actually extends to organisations that clearly engage in racist activities,” he explained.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia