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Sademies goes unpunished by party over sterilisation "nonsense"

The Helsinki Finns Party council group chairman Seppo Kanerva said that the group did not discuss council member Olli Sademies' Facebook comments condoning the forced sterilisation of African men. Despite complaints about the post, police say that Sademies' comments did not amount to hate speech.

Olli Sademies
Olli Sademies Image: Yle

Earlier Kanerva voiced outrage about the comments and vowed that the Finns Party council group would examine the issue. However, when the group met last Wednesday, Kanerva said the group did not talk about Sademies.

When asked why the group didn’t discuss it, Kanerva told Yle’s Swedish language service: "We had so much to talk about that we didn’t have time for such nonsense."

Kanerva said that if Sademies continues to write similar posts he could be thrown out of the party.

For the time being, however, Kanerva says that it’s enough that the party distances itself from his comments. Sademies was not present at the meeting, and that was another reason why the matter went undiscussed, Kanerva says.

Last month, in response to Helsinki reserve councillor Sademies’ suggestion on Facebook that African men should be sterilised, Kanerva told Yle: "What he's written is completely mad. It’s fascism. Hitler thought in the same way. I don’t understand why he wrote that. It’s not the party’s view."

Sademies is no stranger to writing controversial things on Facebook. In an earlier post he wrote that in order to cope in a multicultural society, day care children should learn to shoot automatic weapons.

Police: No investigation

At the end of May, police received three complaints but ultimately decided against opening an investigation about suspected hate speech concerning Sademies’s post.

On May 26 he wrote that Finland’s social system isn’t able to sustain the amount of arriving immigrants, therefore African men should be forcibly sterilised. Sademies also stated that immigrant families should be limited to having three children.

The 67-year-old Sademies is retired and a deputy member of the Helsinki council and a member of the real estate committee. Before retirement, he worked at the Helsinki Police department for decades.

He ran in the parliamentary elections in April but the 462 votes he received were not enough to elect him.

The council group's next meeting is scheduled in August. Kanerva said that if Sademies is present at that meeting his comments would likely be discussed then.

The Finns Party recently ran into another controversy when Oulu MP Olli Immonen was pictured with neo-nazis at a memorial event for a nationalist icon. The party's parliamentary group leader Sampo Terho said that he 'had words' with Immonen, but would take no further action.

Foreign Minister and Finns Party leader Timo Soini refused to comment on Immonen's actions, saying the matter would be handled by Terho.

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