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Police start court proceedings to ban neonazist association in Finland

Xinhua, March 3, 2017 Adjust font size:

The Finnish central police administration began a legal process on Thursday to ban a controversial far right movement.

In its written claim submitted to a court in Tampere, the police administration defined the operations of the the Nordic Resistance Movement to be in contravention of laws and good manners.

Legal experts have not been unanimous on the outcome.

Jussi Tapani, professor of criminal law at Turku University, said recently that the threshold of applying the law on banning an association is high.

"Freedom of association is a basic right and therefore the action is heavy," Tapani told the Finnish Commercial Television News.

Meanwhile, Heikki Halila, professor of civil law at Helsinki University, told Commercial Television news that if an association works against the law, banning in court would not face problems.

The police hold the opinion that even though the Resistance Movement is not "a registered association" it functions as it would be one.

"Registered association" is a Finnish form of a legal entity for clubs and societies, but it is not mandatory and societies can function without being registered.

The police administration refused to comment on the case on Thursday.

In its documentation to the court, the police said the Resistance Movement was "racist, hostile to foreigners and anti-semitic." The police document claimed the Movement aims at creating a Nordic state that would have race-based citizenship criteria and that could deny citizenship on account of insufficient racial base.

The documents were obtained from the court by the Finnish News Agency. Endit