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The Government agreed on measures to tackle violent extremist movements' activities

Government Communications Department 26.9.2016 18.03
Press release 403/2016

The Government condemns all violence, hate speech and racism. In its strategy session on 26 September, the Government agreed that the activities of violent extremist movements' will be tackled by means of legislative and other measures as well as by strengthening the public authorities' resources.

Citizens' freedom of association is a fundamental right and intervention in it must always be carefully considered. Under the current Associations Act, a court of law may dissolve an association if the association's operations are significantly against law or good practice.

The Finnish National Police Board undertakes to intensify the implementation of this section of law. The procedure for dissolving associations will be revised based on gained experiences.

The Ministry of the Interior together with the Ministry of Justice will immediately launch an evaluation, aiming at the prohibition by law of symbols of violent extremist movements that have been dissolved. This would mean that the Police has the right to intervene in the use of such symbols. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice will launch an assessment in order to amend the notification procedure provided for in the Assembly Act. According to the current Act, the local police must be notified of public meetings six hours before the meeting begins. Six hours is too short notice for the police to be able to make preparations to safeguard security during demonstrations.

Additional resources for monitoring of extremist movements and eradicating hate speech

The Government outlined that the public authorities will be allocated additional resources for tackling violent extremist movements' activities. Resources will also be allocated for internet police activities preventing hate speech and for the investigation of hate speech crime. 

The aim is to intensify prevention, disclosure and investigation of crime that involves violent extremist movements, as well as to create models for pre-trial investigation and for cooperation between prosecutors.  Citizen security will be improved by the presence of the police in the social media, too.

Violent extremist movements include associations that act against the law and good conduct

In this connection, violent extremist movements refer to movements which are engaged in violent extremism, hate speech or other activities that are prohibited in international agreements or Finnish legislation or which, based on the current view, are considered to be against good behaviour.

Inquiries:

Päivi Nerg, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 50 456 1012, [email protected]

Sami Manninen, Director General, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 295 150 318, [email protected]

Antti Leinonen, Director of Legislation, Ministry of Justice, tel.  +358 295 150 264, [email protected]

Jari Lindström Juha Sipilä Paula Risikko government