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MPs sign up for initiative to ban 'organised racism'

Legislators have launched a legislative proposal to ban 'organised racism', with initial support from members of every parliamentary party. The bill needs the support of more than half of all MPs to become law.

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Finnish MPs are looking to beef up laws against hate speech. Image: Annette Blencowe / Yle

Nine MPs launched a bill to outlaw 'organised racism' on Thursday. The eight come from each of the eight parties represented in parliament, but they will need at least another 91 MPs to back their proposal for it to proceed.

The bill aims to ban any organisation or organised activities that promote racial discrimination. Participation in such activities would be punishable by the criminal courts.

The bill was proposed by Ozan Yanar (Green), Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto (Green), Annika Saarikko (Centre), Tiina Elovaara (Finns Party), Saara-Sofia Sirén (National Coalition), Nasima Razymar (Social Democrat), Hanna Sarkkinen (Left Alliance), Eva Biaudet (Swedish People's Party) and Sari Essayah (Christian Democrat).

The leader of the Green Party's youth wing Jaakko Mustakallio, who had proposed the initiative, said that it aimed to eliminate confusion over the interpretation of existing laws against hate speech and discrimination.

The move comes a week after a man died following an assault in which the main suspect is a member of the neo-Nazi Finnish Resistance Movement.

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