Finland / 22-10-2013

Kärkkäinen convicted over antisemitic rants


 Juha Kärkkäisen Juha Kärkkäisen

Helsinki - The editor of a Finnish freesheet has been convicted of inciting hatred against an ethnic group. Juha Kärkkäinen will have to pay a fine based on his income the company that publishes his Magneettimedia newspaper will face a 45,000 euro fine.


The district court found that articles published in the Magneettimedia newspaper, which is distributed free of charge in the Lahti, Oulu and Kokkola areas, had incited hatred against Jews.


The Kärkkäinen retailer, which publishes the paper, has been ordered to pay a 45,000 euro fine and remove the offending articles from the Magneettimedia website. Juha Kärkkäinen had claimed in court that his publication was an alternative media outlet, publishing information that mainstream media organisations would not.


The court rejected that argument, finding that the articles constituted hate speech, but did not grant the prosecutor’s request for a suspended jail term.