Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen stands trial again
During the 31st of August and the 1st September, Finnish Politian Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola stood trial at the Helsinki Court of Appeal for the charges brought against them of "inciting hatred" against LGBT people.
These charges are based on a Twitter post made by Räsänen in 2019, as well as a pamphlet and a radio interview. Last year, Räsänen and Pohjola were unanimously acquitted of all charges, but due to the appeal by the prosecutor, they stood trial again. The verdict will be announced on November 30th.
After the trial, Räsänen commented that she was “hopeful that all these charges will be acquitted. It’s a very important verdict for freedom of speech and of religion and Finland, and also has consequences across Europe, I’m hopeful for a good result.”
During the trial, the prosecutors said that the case was not about faith and theology and that “the authors of the Bible are not indicted”. They also added that anyone “can cite the Bible” but that “it is Räsänen’s interpretation and opinion about the Bible verses that are criminal”. The prosecutors also argued that the use of the word “sin” was derogatory.