Hate speech case re-opened against Christian MP in Finland

Päivi Räsänen(Photo: ADF International)

The case has been re-opened against a Christian MP in Finland who was found not guilty of hate speech earlier this year.

Päivi Räsänen, former Interior Minister, was charged with hate speech after sharing her Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality.

She was acquitted by the Helsinki District Court in March. 

The Helsinki Court of Appeals has now decided to re-open the case against Räsänen after the Finnish prosecutor appealed the verdict. 

Evangelical Focus reports that it will be autumn or possibly even 2023 before the case returns to court.

Räsänen has expressed disappointment about the Prosecutor's decision to appeal the verdict.

"I had hoped that the prosecutors would have settled for this ruling," she said previously.

"I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, also in the European Court of Human Rights." 

Räsänen is being supported in her case by the Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADF). 

ADF executive director, Paul Coleman, has criticised the Finnish state's treatment of Räsänen.

"The state's insistence on continuing this prosecution despite such a clear and unanimous ruling by the Helsinki District Court is alarming," he said.

"Dragging people through the courts for years, subjecting them to hour-long police interrogations, and wasting taxpayer money in order to police people's deeply held beliefs has no place in a democratic society.

"As is so often the case in 'hate speech' trials, the process has become part of the punishment."