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Court throws out motion to close down anti-immigrant website MV-Lehti

A Helsinki district court has rejected a petition by police to shut down the anti-immigrant website MV-Lehti. However the court has sealed the arguments used in arriving at its decision.

MV -nettilehden etusivu.
Image: Yle

On Friday the Helsinki District Court overturned a petition by Helsinki police to shut down MV-Lehti, an alternative news website that police suspect of disseminating false information and encouraging hate speech.

The Helsinki police department called on the court to terminate online communications coming from a certain IP address owned by OVH Hosting Ltd, Net9 Ltd, and the sole trader NP Networking, and which is responsible for publishing MV-Lehti and Uber Uutiset, a sister site to MV-Lehti with similar content.

The court did not disclose the arguments behind its decision.

Inaccuracies, distortions, suspected copyright infringements

Police had previously received dozens of criminal complaints about MV-Lehti. They determined that several of the site’s articles may have been inaccurate, distorted or fulfilled the criteria for copyright infringement.

The inflammatory website was founded in 2014 by Spain-based Ilja Janitskin, who also owns a number of other websites.  MV stands for "Mita vittua" (in English What the f***?) and the website became a talking point after publishing a series of vitriolic articles about migration and other subjects.

The site gained a wider following in Finland since large numbers of asylum seekers began arriving in Europe and media began reporting on crimes committed by some of the new arrivals. The website’s articles were published without attribution, so none of the contributors were known.

In July Finnish media reported that the both the MV-Lehti and Uber Uutiset websites were no longer available.  At the time Janitskin had posted a notification on his Facebook page indicating that the site’s Finnish servers had been taken down and would be reinstated elsewhere in due course.

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