Finnish journalist Johanna Vehkoo has been fined for calling a politician “a Nazi” and “a racist”.
The fine was 150 euros. Vehkoo will have to pay also 200 euros as compensation for the victim’s suffering and some 6,000 euros of legal fees.
Vehkoo published her comments in social media in 2016. The victim was Junes Lokka, a member of the city council of Oulu, northern Finland.
The court in Oulu noted that politicians can be criticized, “but there is no need to use slanderous words.”
Local media reported that the victim had earlier been sentenced for instigation against a population group.
Newspaper Kaleva, published in Oulu, said that the fact that Lokka himself had used rude language towards other persons had no impact on the verdict. The court formulated that those persons “whose use of words about other persons is not appropriate have the protection of the law.”
Martina Kronstrom, the lawyer of Vehkoo, was quoted by newspaper Kaleva as saying that the verdict sends a dangerous signal. “The extreme right wing is rising throughout Europe, but people are afraid to talk about these things.”
Journalist Vehkoo is a former member of the Finnish media council, a voluntary group supervising the media performance.
Vehkoo said she does not accept the verdict. Appeal to a higher court is possible.