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Home NATIONALMove taken to insert racism in criminal code
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Fri, 23 Sep, 2016 12:06:38 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Sep23
Lawmakers signed the initiative to bring a bill with the view to insert racism in criminal act in parliament on Thursday.Photo – Lehtikuva.
A group of politicians has taken an initiative to place a citizen bill before parliament to insert organised racism in the criminal code.
A number of lawmakers belonging to all the parliamentary parties already signed the initiative on Thursday.
The initiative targets to collect signature of more than one hundred lawmakers by the end of October.
The bill needs signatures of more than half of the members of parliament to bring the amendment to the existing criminal code.
The campaign founders, Jaakko Mustakallio and Saara Ilvessalo of the opposition Vihreä liitto (Green League), believe that the current legislation is ambiguous and does not meet international obligations.
“The authorities should provide strong support in combating organised racism in our country. Now is the time to move from words to actions,” said Mustakallio.
The initiative has been already signed by 30,000 Finns.
Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office and the National Police Board will discuss next week at the latest whether there are grounds to bring an action prohibiting the operation of neo-Nazi resistance movements in Finland.
“Such an action and a possible ban on the organisation require careful study,” said Deputy Prosecutor Raija Toiviainen.
According to Toiviainen, other suspected violent organisations should also be taken into consideration. The requirements for a ban are high, however, because the Constitution protects freedom of association.
A passer-by was beaten up on September 10 outside the Helsinki Central Railway Station where the Finnish Resistance Movement was holding a demonstration. The victim succumbed to his injuries at the Helsinki Meilahti hospital on September 16.
“The prohibition criteria would be met mostly in cases where association [with the suspected group] is completely illegal, for example, if they meet only in the pursuit of violence. There are no precedents under Finnish law,” said Toiviainen.
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