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Finns Party MP facing third ethnic agitation charge

Sebastian Tynkkynen has been found guilty on two previous occasions of agitating against an ethnic group.

Perussuomalaisen kansanedustaja Sebastian Tynkkysen oikeudenkäynti 3.10.2019.
Finns Party MP Sebastian Tynkkynen sitting in court during his trial on charges of ethnic agitation in October 2019. Image: Paulus Markkula / Yle

Finns Party Member of Parliament Sebastian Tynkkynen has been charged for a third time with ethnic agitation, after an indictment was filed in Oulu District Court at the end of March.

Tynkkynen has two previous convictions for similar offences. He was convicted of hate speech in 2017 and he was fined 4,000 euros in October 2019 over anti-Islamic texts and images posted on Facebook back in 2016.

Speaking to news agency STT about the latest charge, Tynkkynen denied he had committed any crime. He added that the prosecution is related to his municipal election campaign, in which he has highlighted messages sent to him by citizens concerned about the negative side effects of immigration.

"I will explain why it is not an offence to present citizens' messages in any way, but above all politicians should represent citizens and bring their voices into the political decision-making process," Tynkkynen told STT, adding that he considers the accusation an attack on freedom of speech.

"If making immigration-critical policies is deemed illegal by the judiciary, then it can be said that the judiciary is in a very weak position. The opportunities for one party to take practical action are deprived," Tynkkynen said.

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