MPs warn UK parliament of “narrowing” space for free speech in light of Finnish MP on trial for tweet

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UK MPs have filed a motion to parliament, heralding concerns about the prosecution of Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen who shared her deeply-held beliefs in a Tweet accompanied by Bible verses.

The former Minister of the Interior is being accused of engaging in “hate speech” for publicly voicing her deeply held beliefs on marriage and sexual ethics. Finland’s Prosecutor General has brought three criminal charges against Räsänen over the contents of a pamphlet Räsänen wrote on these topics in 2004, for engaging in a debate on a 2019 radio show and for a tweet containing a picture of Bible verses Räsänen directed at her church leadership. Bishop Juhana Pohjola faces trial alongside her for publishing a pamphlet for his congregation that Räsänen wrote on the topic over 17 years ago.

Räsänen is officially being prosecuted for the crime of “ethnic agitation”, under the section of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in the Finnish criminal code.