Finnish top court bans Finland's main neo-Nazi group

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's Supreme Court on Tuesday banned a neo-Nazi group on the grounds that its activities are “significantly contrary to law.”

Finland’s national police had sought to dissolve the right-wing Nordic Resistance Movement, known for being violent and openly racist, and two lower courts of law confirmed the ruling.

Finland’s highest court ruled that the group’s activities “did not enjoy freedom of expression or freedom of association, as the association’s activities by their nature entailed an abuse of these rights.”

National Police Chief Inspector Heikki Lausmaa told Finnish broadcaster YLE that the Supreme Court ruling is “a clear statement that an organization that is violent and uses speech deemed racist or otherwise violating human dignity should not have a place in Finnish society.”

A Nordic Resistance Movement member, Jesse Torniainen, was convicted of aggravated assault for kicking a man in the chest during a September 2016 demonstration. The 28-year-old man died from his injuries. Torniainen was sentenced to two years in prison.

The fatal assault drew public attention and led to calls to ban racist and other extremist organizations in Finland.