Saturday June 15, 2024

PVL ban takes Finland way ahead in its war on racism, disparity

Published : 23 Sep 2020, 14:07

Updated : 24 Sep 2020, 00:09

  Editor´s Desk
File Photo Xinhua.

The Supreme Court (Korkein oikeus) on Tuesday upheld the verdict of the appeal court banning the neo-Nazi group Nordic Resistance Movement (Finnish acronym PVL), which abolishes the existence of the organisation involved in hate speech and violence against foreigners and Jews in Finland.

The National Police Board took the original initiative to ban the organisation and it has finally been implemented through the Supreme Court verdict after several rounds of appeals made by the organisation.

Earlier, on September 28, 2018, the Turku Court of Appeal upheld the ban imposed by the Pirkanmaa District Court in November 2017 on the activities of the PVL.

We appreciate the bold initiative taken by the police and welcome this historic verdicts given by the district court,

The appeal court and the Supreme Court that will not only dissuade the fascist and extremist radical forces from being formed and operating in this country but also have a long-term positive impact on the social wellbeing.

When we examine the background and activities of PVL, we don’t find them going with the Finnish values, culture, and norms. The Finns are highly acclaimed as a peaceful and peace-loving nation across the globe. The Supreme Court’s ruling once again proves that Finland in no way will tolerate or allow any fascist, racist, or indiscriminating activity to go on in the society.

The Nordic Resistance Movement was founded in Sweden in 1996 and later branched out to the rest of the Nordic countries, i.e., Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.

The group triggered off a storm of debate, discussion, and condemnation in September 2016, following the death of a man being assaulted during a neo-Nazi rally at the Helsinki Central Railway Station. People from all professions and social strata voiced strong protests against the incident. On 24 September 2016, more than 15,000 people gathered in Helsinki and condemned racism and violence.

In October 2017, a Finnish member of the organisation was sentenced to two years of imprisonment for his involvement in the assault.

As we said, the ban on the PVL also spells wide-scale positive consequences for the Finnish society, including encouragement to progressive forces as well as people in general to continue to work for instituting human rights and equal rights, as well as protecting the interests of minority groups including the immigrants.

Political ideology and strategy also have a vital role to play in routing racism, fascism, and disparity from all sectors of the society. The court’s verdict is very important at this time, when far-right political groups have emerged as vital political actors in many a European country in the recent past. We have seen the advancement of the right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), in Germany, the populist Five Star Movement in Italy, and, finally, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) in Sweden.

The country is passing through a tough negative situation due to the coronavirus outbreak as elsewhere in the globe. But the positive aspect is that the five-party alliance government consists of most of the progressive political parties and is trying to tackle the situation in a fair way. In addition to face the coronavirus challenge, the government should be more attentive to the humanity, equality and anti-apartheid movement to make Finland a haven for people irrespective of locals and immigrants.

It is unfortunate that the popularity of a populist fundamental political party increased significantly in the country during the recent period. If its popularity increases further, it may throw the country into a very embarrassing situation. It will tarnish the image of Finland locally and globally and hinder the country’s progress towards humane values and equality.

It is high time for the Finns to say no to all negative forces and ideologies and to safeguard their country’s image as a land of equal rights, peace, and wellbeing.

The court’s decision to ban the PVL takes Finland way forward in its journey against racism and towards equal rights; and the move will continue until the country is free from disparity, violence and all kinds of anti-social activities.