Päivi Räsänen: The court considers that it is not for him “to interpret biblical concepts”

All charges against Päivi Räsänen, a Finnish MP and former Minister of the Interior, have been dismissed.

All charges against Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen were unanimously dismissed yesterday. ADF International, the legal organization that represents, recalls that she was accused of "'hate speech' for sharing her faith-based views on marriage and sexual ethics, in a tweet from 2019, a radio talk show from 2019 and a pamphlet from 2004. A Finnish court has just concluded that it “is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts”.

ADF International says it is delighted with this acquittal and shares the words of the MP, who according to the organization “strongly defended her right to speak about her beliefs throughout the turmoil of a trial in criminal court”.

“While I am grateful to have had this chance to stand up for free speech, I hope this decision will help prevent others from going through the same ordeal. »

Paul Coleman, director of ADF International, told the Prime Minister it was a big win for freedom of expression across Europe.

“The court makes it clear that it has no authority to interpret biblical concepts. He also recognized that what was at stake here was the ability to express Christian beliefs about the nature of man and woman, marriage and human sexuality which is fundamental to the Christian faith and must be protected. . »

Paul Coleman also spoke on Twitter, where he lamented “two and a half years of turmoil”.

"As we celebrate the victory, let's not forget that the case should never have been brought in the first place. Two and a half years of turmoil. Hours of police interrogations. Bible verses are sorted by a prosecutor. Yes, we celebrate but regret that it happened! »

Last May, the European Evangelical Alliance asked Finland to respect freedom of expression and religious freedom, in this case.

MC

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