Oulu city councillor fined for ethnic agitation

Wednesday's district court ruling marked the second time Junes Lokka has been convicted of incitement.

File photo of Oulu city councillor Junes Lokka. Image: Yle

Oulu city councillor Junes Lokka was sentenced Wednesday to 70 day-fines for two counts of ethnic agitation charges.

The city's District Court found Lokka had posted online videos depicting Muslims and other immigrants as being inferior to others. The court found the posted videos violated laws on human dignity and religious freedom.

One of the videos Lokka released on Facebook and YouTube in the summer of 2016 was a recording of a demonstration in Helsinki featuring anti-immigrant and Islamophobic speech.

The second agitation charge was related to another video that was defamatory to immigrants and Muslims in September of the same year.

The city councillor is also an anti-immigration activist and politician and has a previous conviction for ethnic agitation, for which he was fined.

Wednesday's verdict is not yet final, as Lokka still has the opportunity to appeal the case. However, during a preliminary investigation the councillor admitted to police that he uploaded the videos.

Yle contacted Lokka but he would not comment on whether he was planning to appeal the verdict.

2019: Journalist convicted for calling Lokka "Nazi clown"

Lokka and two others still face four other charges of defamation as well as a charge of disseminating information that violated someone's privacy. All three have denied those charges.

Last spring, an Oulu court convicted and fined journalist Johanna Vehkoo for defamation, after she called Lokka a "racist" and "Nazi clown," among other things.

Vehkoo was also ordered to pay Lokka 200 euros for the suffering he experienced. She was also told to pay the complainant’s legal fees, amounting to a total of 6,000 euros.

The journalist is a co-founder of the Finnish investigative journalism site, Longplay and also received a freedom of speech award from the Finnish chapter of the international journalists’ organisation PEN in February.