Censorship in Finland

Finnish blogger Mikko Ellilän quoted official crime statistics from the Finnish Ministry of Justice. These statistics showed that Somali immigrants commit robberies at more than 100 times the rate that native Finns do. Mikko Puumalainen, the Finnish Ombudsman for Minorities, ordered the Central Criminal Police to interrogate Ellilän for fostering an anti-immigration political climate. So, if you oppose Puumalainen's views on immigration in Finland, and if you express your views publicly and support them with official crime statistics, you are guilty of racism. Evidently, Puumalainen also wants to erect a firewall to block what he takes to be racist websites. Read more about it at <em><a href="http://mikkoellila.thinkertothinker.com/?p=156">Ellilän's blog</a></em> and at <em><a href="http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2008/03/1984_comes_to_f.html">Samizdata</a></em>.


Finland ,another place to visit crossed off the list.

I read Finnish, and I've followed the debate on net censorship in Finland. I'm a little baffled, though, why an issue over a year old was reported here now, when a much more media-sexy version (child pornography and net censorship) is brewing right now in the very same country...
Mr. Ellilä (note: his blog name gives his name in the genitive form; Mikko Ellilä's Personal Weblog) was accused of incitement against a racial group. He certainly doesn't spare his words. What's more, his information about the actions of the Finnish officials is often based on verbal accounts and/or is difficult to trace even when he says it's publicly available. On the other hand, it seems that the Finnish officials are far from clean either. It's difficult to say what's going on with this story, since Ellilä hasn't written in more than seven months, and not that much has been written/blogged about him, either. There is a blog transcript of his trial, held March 18, 2008, (http://turkkila.blogspot.com/2008/03/mikko-elliln-oikeudenkynti-1832008.html) and some other comments available, albeit only in Finnish. Apparently the verdict will be announced March 27, 2008.
Ellilä's case is slightly different than the issue that's made the mainstream media at the moment. An informed version of the current censorship discussion can be found for example at Janne Jalkanen's blog (http://www.ecyrd.com/ButtUgly/wiki/Main_blogentry_100308_1 and http://www.ecyrd.com/ButtUgly/wiki/Main_blogentry_130208_1). The latter post also has links in English in the comments section.
It definitely sounds dire. I can say, though, that Finns will not go down without a fight, and misinformed officials are getting an earful as we type.

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