Free Speech Crime – The Case of Päivi Räsänen

Päivi Räsänen, MP

As S4C previously reported, former Former Finnish Minister of the Interior and member of the parliament, Päivi Räsänen could be sentenced to several years in prison for Tweeting and criticising her church for sponsoring an LGBT pride event.

The film is about the blurred line between free speech and “hate speech”.

The main character, Mrs PÄIVI RÄSÄNEN, is a member of the Finnish Parliament, former Minister of the Interior, and a Christian grandmother. The Finnish Prosecutor General has filed three charges against her for a crime called ”agitation against a minority group”.

She spent her childhood in a small rural village in the shadows of a prison. There she learned the basics of the Christian faith. Due to expressing her conviction she is now suspected of a hate crime punishable by two years’ imprisonment. As a legislator, she has previously advocated tightening hate crime legislation, but now has to re-evaluate the issue.

Alongside the juridical process, the handling of the case in the media is monitored. Conflicting parties are those with the traditional concept of free speech and those calling for a redefinition of human rights. The internationally well-networked LGBT movement represents the latter.

The film reflects the state and future of Western democracy in a Northern European country rated “the freest in the world” and “best for the protection of fundamental human rights” by international comparisons.

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