Monday, March 31, 2008

The Ordeal of Mikko Ellilä

Last Friday the Finnish TV network YLE published the following brief news item:

Blogger Fined for Inciting Racial Hatred

A blogger in Finland has been fined for writing offensive material about Africans.

Finland CCCPA court sentenced the 30-year old Espoo resident to a fine for inciting racial hatred. It found that the man’s writings on the Internet constituted illegal propaganda.

The judgment ruled that the man slandered Africans by comparing them to animals. In his defense, the man said that laws governing freedom of speech protected his right to express his opinion.

Inciting racial hatred — hets mot folkgrupp in the Swedish version — is the catchall offense used in Finland to suppress politically incorrect speech.

The blogger thought he was protected by the right of free speech, but he was mistaken. With the possible exception of Denmark, freedom of speech does not exist in any European country. The right to speak freely is subordinate to the right to practice one’s religion freely, and to be free of racial discrimination. Both of these “rights” are conveniently used to suppress anyone who questions Orthodox Multiculturalism.

The story doesn’t mention the name of the blogger, but he is in fact Mikko Ellilä.

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Mikko ElliläI wrote extensively starting in May of last year about the efforts of the Finnish authorities to silence Mikko Ellilä. Mr. Ellilä made the unpardonable mistake of holding opinions about immigration and racial issues which the state found unacceptable.

The legal process against him started with a summons to talk to the police. After that it looked like nothing much might happen, and there were some among our commenters who claimed we were making a lot of fuss about nothing, and that Mr. Ellilä was bound to be released.

But it didn’t work out that way. The matter was referred to the State Prosecutor, who brought the case to trial, and Mr Ellilä was convicted. It’s the second such case in Finland, and will draw the iron curtain of censorship down even tighter over Finnish anti-immigration blogs and websites.

Tundra Tabloids has much more on the story. KGS says this:
- - - - - - - - -
The Finnish court’s decision to find Finnish blogger Mikko Ellilä is a severe blow to fundamental rights governing free speech.

[…]

Another aspect to the case, is whether he should have been forced by a court to have to explain his views at all. The Finnish State Prosecutor’s line of questioning: “what was your intent”, should send a chill up everyone’s spine, no matter what the issue is about. This scaling back of liberal freedoms — if it isn’t overturned by a higher court — comes at a crucial time when civil liberties are under attack by those who want to limit what one can say about Islam.

Turkkilaista tuumintaa has major portions of the trial transcript translated into English. KGS includes a caveat that Matias Turkkila made his partial transcript from notes rather than a tape recording, so word-for-word accuracy is not to be expected.

Here’s a random excerpt:

[Defense attorney Kari] Silvennoinen: One of the offences mentioned in the preliminary investigation was that you had compared ethnic groups to animals. Is this the case?

Ellilä: No. I haven’t compared any ethnic groups to animals. I merely stated that man — as in mankind — is an animal, homo sapiens, which is of course a fact known to everyone.

Silvennoinen: How about the word “parasite”, which you use at one point?

Ellilä: In Finland, the word “parasite” [“loinen”] was originally a socio-economic term used in 19th century agrarian society, where terms such as “peasant”, “tenant farmer”, “parasite” etc. were used, this last group being people who lived at the expense of others. It was only later that this word came to be used of lice and other insects, and it’s still used colloquially in the socio-economic sense in political discourse, in newspaper columns and such. It’s not the kind of word that politicians would use, but then, I am not a politician, but a private citizen.

Silvennoinen: Did you have any intentions of inciting or offending?

Ellilä: None whatsoever. [emphasis added]

Notice that Mikko Ellilä’s defense comes down to what he intended. As it happens, such a defense proved inadequate — evidently the court determined that Mr. Ellilä’s intentions were not benign, and ruled accordingly.

But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that Mikko Ellilä’s inner thoughts and intentions are in fact vile. Let’s pretend that he really thinks that Africans are no better than animals, that Jews are sub-humans, and the Suomi-speakers of Finland are the most evolved race on the planet.

So what?

I would find such opinions repugnant. I would decline to read his writings, and I would give his theories no credence.

But that’s not the issue.

The issue is this: Freedom of speech means the absolute right to say truly repugnant things.

Otherwise it has no meaning. If we are only free to say “The Emperor’s clothes are gorgeous and delightful,” then we have no free speech whatsoever.

The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

19 comments:

spackle said...

So essentially he was convicted of putting his thoughts out into the universe. It then follows that if this was an entry in a private journal he would have had no problem. That is until some organ of the state found said journal. The next logical step and the one for which these monsters are truly navigating is the crime of wrong thought. One day technology may be able to determine that as well, thus leaving nowhere to hide. The mother of "Big Brother" is having contractions. The question now is whether it will be a quick Cesarian delivery or a still birth. It is looking to be the former.

CarnackiUK said...

So what might be the court's ruling on imams in Finnish mosques describing non-muslims as 'apes and pigs'?

Joanne said...

Lionheart in England is in the same predicament today. He turned himself into police for “suspicion of stirring up racial hatred”.

He states, "I am now on Police bail for this offence and have to return to the station at the end of May to see whether or not I am going to be charged with this offence and put before a court, or whether they are going to release me without charge."

Just check out his blog,

http://lionheartuk.blogspot.com/

go down aways to - My Arrest, detention, and interrogation.

Ypp said...

Only now looking at the illustration I realized that Soviet emblem "Hammer, Crescent and Star" is almost like Muslim Crescent and Star, if you remove the hammer.

Does hammer means technical progress, or maybe the masculine authoritarian power? The authoritarian power is what liberals hate in Communism. Crescent ans star are just fine.

Ypp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ypp said...

Another explanation : hammer means the addition of Marxist theory of labor to what otherwise would be Islam. Islam does not respect labor, and it is here for 1400 years. Communism, vice versa, lasted 70 years only, and collapsed because of economic problems: nobody wanted to work. Thus, addition of labor/hammer did not work.

laine said...

It's not just in Europe that free speech is under attack although it will go down to defeat there first as Europeans strangle themselves in their cradle to grave government cocoons.

Remember the Gerald Ford saying (misattributed to Jefferson) "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have"? Europeans wanted a nanny government to look after them and now that government is taking away their freedom of speech just as a real nanny washes her charges' mouths with soap and with it their right to defend against cultural genocide. Unfortunately, Europeans seem to think it's a small price to pay. Their resistance is pitiful. Their leaders are like King Theoden of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings who is impotent under the evil influence of Saruman.

In Canada there are two high profile cases of conservatives (after several lower profile defendants were found guilty) wending their way not through real law courts but pseudo-legal government funded carbuncles misnamed human rights commissions where the process is the punishment in that complaints (in these two cases by Muslims) are funded by the government but defendants are on the hook for all their costs and so far have all been found guilty. These commissions also have wide leeway that police investigators do not, such as entrapment.

In the case of Ezra Levant, the only media publisher in Canada to put the Danish Mohammed cartoons in his now defunct magazine Western Standard after they became big news, he was asked exactly the same wording used against Mr. Ellila "what was your intent"? (The other defendant may be better known, Mark Steyn, accused of inciting hate by quoting an imam predicting takeover of Europe because his fellow Muslims "breed like mosquitos").

Mr. Levant managed to film what he calls his "inquisition" in which he is completely defiant about how his intent is no business of the government and put it on You Tube.

Both he and Steyn expect to be found "guilty" by these kangaroo courts for thought crimes and then appeal to the real law courts.

The small ray of hope in Canada is that several high profile leftist groups, mainly arts related have also stood up for the principle of free speech.

Perhaps they are leery of not being allowed to use colorful similes or metaphors such as "mosquito" and "parasite" when describing people who behave in this way? Soon "bear of a man" or "busy as a beaver" will be off limits. Language cleansed of anything that may give offense will leave us with mere prepositions!

This is completely insane, particularly as someone pointed out above, the people demanding this cleansing are allowed to shout their much worse abuse without even a slap on the wrist. What were the intentions of those hoisting signs demanding "Behead those who criticize Islam", "Hitler was right" etc?. Most imams from most mosques should be hauled in if the charge is inciting hatred against an identifiable group.

That after all is the basis of Islam and its spread.

Robert Marchenoir said...

The trial transcript is fascinating.

Truth and facts do not matter at all.

First, you learn that 40% of rapes in Finland are commited by immigrants, who represent only 2% of the population.

The prosecutor does not dispute these figures, but he says: "This does not justify generalisations about immigrants living in Finland having a tendency to commit acts of violence."

If a spread between 2% and 40% does not justify a "tendency", I do not see what would.

The other stunning fact is that the political nature of the trial is obvious.

The prosecutor says: "Don't you find it of any importance that African countries have been colonies and that Europeans are responsible for the current state of Africa?"

According to the state prosecutor, Europeans are responsible for the current state of Africa. This is not an opinion open to discussion. He states that as an obvious fact and an official truth, although I am sure you would have trouble finding it in the Finnish penal code.

The prosecutor, again: "VDare [one of the blogger's sources for facts] is by no means a scientific or an objective organisation, but an organisation that leans to the extreme right: for example, it opposes Mexican immigration into the United States."

According to the Finnish state, to oppose Mexican immigration into the United States is to be from the extreme-right. And to be from the extreme-right means the statistics you quote are not reliable, even if the original source is another one.

This is how the Finland courts read the law.

Incidentally, I suppose this must mean President Bush is from the extreme-left, since he has, by and large, a pro-immigration stance.

Go figure.

Dan said...

A “right” to free speech? A people will have the rights they will fight to defend and nothing more. Everything else is empty promises or outright shams by politicians.

Exile said...

"Don't you find it of any importance that African countries have been colonies and that Europeans are responsible for the current state of Africa?"

Which is a bit like,

"Have you stopped beating your wife?"

Kangaroo court. He was guilty before he got there. Talk about a frame-up.

Diamed said...

Most hate speech laws don't even bother to find out the intent of the writer anymore. Nowadays it's sufficient to be found guilty if there would be a 'reasonable chance' your writings Could stir up racial hatred. It doesn't have to be linked to any later violent act. Merely Possibly creating negative Thoughts in others is a crime.

This is completely reasonable though. If it were well known that foreigners were 20 times as likely to be rapists as indigenous Finns, obviously there would be much more hatred against the foreigners. The fact that it is hatred of evil is unimportant, since 'hate' is the most evil thing you could ever possibly do on earth, and rape comes in at 10 or 500 or so. After all, we have scandinavian professors telling white women they must accept rape as part of the muslim culture since they won't wear burqas like they should.

Joanne said...

"Behead those who criticize Islam"

Hate speech laws are a sham because they are only used on the people who speak out against those who are stating that we should be killed when we exercise our right to freedom of speech. It isn't fair that Muslims are allowed to promote hate with their free speech and their Koran, especially when you consider they or their ancesters didn't die fighting for that freedom. When we point out the truth, it warrants a beheading or a day in court originating from Muslims themselves. Why is there this double-standard? Is it because Muslims will threaten violence if they are forbidden to exercise their right to freedom of speech? What, if I can't tell you I'm going to behead, I'm going to behead you. Good grief!

I think it is time a few governments are overturned, and people with some semblance of common sense are put in charge.

Joanne said...

"A people will have the rights they will fight to defend and nothing more." by Dan

Never so true, as it is today.

Bela said...

A couple month ago the Hungarian Socialist (Communist Party) enacted similar "hate" legislation which went even further:

"Any action that incites hate is punishable up to 2 years of prison sentence. Not only an actual act or deed is punishable but any GESTURE that somebody MIGHT interpret as expression of hate."

Reliapundit said...

surely if he can be prosecuted for what he said/wrote, then the quran can be banned and all mosques shut, too.

the quran is the ultimate hate speech.

Queen said...

"Don't you find it of any importance that African countries have been colonies and that Europeans are responsible for the current state of Africa?"

Since when did Finland have colonies in Africa (or anywhere else)? So now you are guilty of colonialism (and must be punished for it!) even if your country wasn't a colonial power, just because you vaguely look like someone who comes from a country that did have a colonial empire?

This is Soviet-style kangaroo courtism. It is also blatant anti-white racism. It is terrifying.

laine said...

The prosecutor is your typical liberal racist with her bigotry of low expectations. African blacks are not responsible in any way for themselves and their actions despite centuries of black rule preceding and decades following the blip of white rule. Instead, whites have eternal responsibility for them because they are puppets, children, less intelligent, incapable of recovering from hardship...take your pick.

All black crimes are the fault of whites, whether it's a Hutu murdering a Tutsi in Africa or a Moroccan black raping Scandinavian women.

Any white who insists on speaking of the crimes of blacks is committing a worse crime and must be shut up and punished.

Presumably, if a female prosecutor or judge is herself raped some day by a Muslim, she should not bother reporting it to the legal authorities as "speaking of her rape" might incite hatred toward the rapist's identifiable group. She should just "lie back and think of Africa".

in_awe said...

This week a story broke about a California man advertising on Craig's list that he had an apartment to rent in his home. He used the description "perfect for young professionals".

A quasi-govermental human rights group conducted a "sweep of Craig's list" looking for offending words and cited this man for discrimination. There had been no complaints from any past or prospective renters. In fact he was forced to provide the names of all former tenants and applicants to this commission which then contacted them all.

He was forced to go to a kangaroo court type hearing with a punishment meted out of a fine of $4000 and five years of paying to attend anti-discrimination classes taught by this same group. A main thrust of the hearing was to get him to reveal what his intent was in using those words in his ad.

Europe, Canada, the US - we are all on a slippery PC slope at a time when unvarnished truth is urgently need in public discourse.

Per said...

The legal situation is the same in Denmark.
Refer to:
http://www.article19.org/publications/global-issues/hate-speech.html
http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2007/CDL-FR(2007)002-e.pdf
http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2007/CDL-AD(2007)006add2-e.pdf
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/dihr-suplementary-new.pdf
http://www.rigsadvokaten.dk/media/bilag/afgorelse_engelsk.pdf
http://humanrights.palermo.magenta-aps.dk/news/briefs/briefs_01/