Finland bans neo-Nazi group for being racist, violent

HELSINKI — A court in Finland banned a neo-Nazi group on the grounds of spreading hatred and advocating violence as self-defense.

The ruling came in a lawsuit Finland’s national police filed that sought to dissolve the right-wing Nordic Resistance Movement. The suit argued the group was violent and openly racist.

Senior police officer Seppo Kolehmainen said the decision issued Thursday is “a clear message” that hatred “has no place in the 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.

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