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Hirvisaari convicted of hate speech

An MP from the populist right-wing Finns Party, James Hirvisaari, has been convicted for inciting hatred against an ethnic group by the Kouvola Court of Appeal.

The court ruled that Hirvisaari had published a text in his blog on the Uusi Suomi website that incited hatred against a religious, ethnic or similar group.

The court said that Hirvisaari understood that the text was slanderous and likely to cause contempt and hatred towards muslims. Hirvisaari will now have to pay 25 day-fines, which according to his income amounts to 1,425 euros.

Päijät-Häme district court threw out the charges around a year ago, saying that the text Hirvisaari published simply exercised his freedom of speech.