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Finnish court bans Neo-Nazi movement

A court in Tampere has prohibited the Nordic Resistance Movement, a group linked with violent racist activities in Finland.

PVL supporters at a demonstration in Tampere. Image: Terri Niemi /Yle

Pirkanmaa District Court has banned the Nordic Resistance Movement (Finnish acronym PVL), a Neo-Nazi organisation with links to similar groups elsewhere in the Nordic countries. The organisation has been disbanded as it 'flagrantly violated the principles of good practice', according to the court.

Although it was not a legally constituted association, the police viewed it as an ideologically driven, unregistered association.

The court ruled that it was a violent group that exhorted followers and members to violent acts. The court said that the group was not entitled to freedom of speech protections as its actions violated the human rights of others.

Last year a member, Jesse Torniainen, was sentenced to two years in jail for an aggravated assault at a demonstration in Helsinki. The victim later died in hospital although the court in that case did not agree with prosecutors that his death was down to the injuries sustained in the assault.