Expression

A Finnish court in the Oulou District has found a Finnish investigative journalist, Johanna Vehkoo, guilty of criminal defamation for calling a local city counsellor, Junes Lokka, a racist and ‘nazi clown’ in a private Facebook post. 

The court judged Vehkoo’s comments as a personal attack on Lokka and that she did not focus her criticism on his politics. She was ordered to pay Lokka 200 Euros for the suffering he experienced and to pay the state 150 Euros. She was also required to pay the complainant’s legal fees, which amounted to 6,000 Euros . 

The court decision was criticised by the Union of Journalist in Finland (UJF) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as an attack on freedom of expression, also asking the country to abolish its criminal defamation laws. 

Johanna Vehkoo has said that she considered Lokka’s criminal complaint as a way of harassing her because of her journalistic work, much of which is focused on exposing fake news.