tiistai 25. maaliskuuta 2008

The trial of Mikko Ellilä 14.3.2008 - English translation

[Orginal proceedings were written in Finnish; this translation was kindly provided to us by Adelphi]

Prosecutor: State Prosecutor Mika Illman
Defendant: Mikko Ellilä
Defense attorney: Kari Silvennoinen
Judge: Juha Lehto

Jury: Aila Lehtinen, Rainer Westerlund, Seppo Äikäs

Proceedings of the trial

Mika Illman: The text under discussion, "Society Consists of People", has been published on the Internet. In the text, Africans are slandered and insulted. It includes material that is prohibited in section 11 of the penal code and that should therefore not be disseminated. I demand that the text be removed from the Internet. It is indisputable that the text has been disseminated as described in the penal code. What is in dispute is whether the statements included in the text are illegal. This case is not about freedom of opinion. Mr Ellilä is free to hold any opinions that he wishes. However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits abusing these rights. Freedom of speech may not be misused.
Mika Illman:

Kari Silvennoinen [after denying that the text has been disseminated as described in the penal code]: The main issue here is whether the statements in the text are illegal or not. I find it hypocritical of the prosecutor to be "concerned" about freedom of speech while at the same time narrowing it down. The charge is about incitement against an ethnic group, but there is no ethnic group mentioned in the text that would be incited against. The text is an opinion piece and it contains links to articles in which facts supporting the opinions are presented. If the prosecutor wins this case, all provocative writings will have to be censored from the Internet. Thus the case is in the highest degree about freedom of speech.

Illman: I quote some extracts from the text that I consider illegal.

Quotation I: "For the Africans, looting, rape, nepotism, corruption, clan warfare, superstition and impulsive homicide are [ *illegal content omitted* ] by Bolshevist-style anarchy and voodoo culture."

Quotation II: "In the United States and in Canada, Negroes behave bearably only when.. [ *illegal content omitted* ] ..to adapt to Western culture."

Quotation III: "Were black-majority areas to be independent city states, they.. [ *illegal content omitted* ] ..manifest themselves in their behaviour."

Quotation IV: "Importing Negroes into Europe lowers.. [ *illegal content omitted* ] ..if Negroes weren't welfare bums living off taxpayer money."

Illman: These are the extracts that in my opinion fulfill the essential criteria of the offence. If the text were to contain only a few sentences like this, they would not be sufficient to make the text as a whole illegal. However, the extracts that I quoted comprise an essential part of the text.

Silvennoinen: I refer to the same extracts. I would like to point out that the text contains links. The statements in the texts are opinions that are supported by facts mentioned in the articles behind the links. Thus this is a case of expressing a justified opinion.

Illman: I do not deny the existence of the links, but I still claim that the material is illegal.

Juha Lehto [to Mikko Ellilä]: It is best that you tell everything exactly the way it transpired. Could you tell us something about the blog in which the text in question appeared?

Ellilä and Silvennoinen:

Mikko Ellilä: It is my personal weblog and it contains over a hundred different blog posts. In this particular text I wanted to draw attention to something that hasn't been discussed publicly too often, namely that there are huge differences between various cultures, and that these differences arise from the people of whom each society consists. Societies like Zimbabwe, Senegal and Congo are completely different from the United States or Europe. This is a fact that nobody denies, and it's due e.g. to the fact that differences in personality are at least partially genetic in nature. The genetic foundation of personality is a subject that many experts have written about, among them Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, professor of psychology at the University of Helsinki.

Silvennoinen: One of the offences mentioned in the preliminary investigation was that you had compared ethnic groups to animals. Is this the case?

Ellilä: No. I haven't compared any ethnic groups to animals. I merely stated that man – as in mankind – is an animal, homo sapiens, which is of course a fact known to everyone.

Silvennoinen: How about the word "parasite", which you use at one point?

Ellilä: In Finland, the word "parasite" ["loinen"] was originally a socio-economic term used in 19th century agrarian society, where terms such as "peasant", "tenant farmer", "parasite" etc. were used, this last group being people who lived at the expense of others. It was only later that this word came to be used of lice and other insects, and it's still used colloquially in the socio-economic sense in political discourse, in newspaper columns and such. It's not the kind of word that politicians would use, but then, I am not a politician, but a private citizen.

Silvennoinen: Did you have any intentions of inciting or offending?

Ellilä: None whatsoever. In the text I analysed populations consisting of millions of people. I wrote about sociological facts, I did not offend any individuals. I also wrote in the text that Finnish men commit more crimes than Finnish women do. Stating this fact is not an offence against men. Likewise, stating the fact that Africans commit more crimes than Europeans is not an offence against Africans.

Nor did I intend to offend anyone by mentioning differences in IQ. These differences are empirically observable facts. All relevant IQ studies ever conducted have shown that Africans have a lower median IQ than Europeans. This is an indisputable fact. Denying it would be tantamount to denying the law of gravity.

The prosecutor Mika Illman questions Mikko Ellilä

Illman: What is your educational background?

Ellilä: What has this got to do with the case?

Illman: I ask the questions and you answer them.

Ellilä: I'm a student at the Helsinki School of Economics. I haven't graduated yet.

Illman: How could one find the site in question on the Internet?

Ellilä: By googling my name, for example.

Illman: How about using some of the words that appear in the text as a search term on Google, could one find it that way?

Ellilä: Well, that's how Google works.

Illman: You write, "For the Africans, looting, rape, nepotism, corruption, clan warfare, superstition and impulsive homicide are business as usual". What is this claim based on?

Ellilä: On well-known facts. There are a lot of dictators and wars in Africa. There was a genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s due to intertribal conflicts between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Apart from the Darfur crisis in Sudan, there was also a civil war in Sudan between the Arab Muslim government in the north and the black Christians and other non-Muslims in the south. In Congo, the dictators Mobutu Sese Seko and Laurent Kabila killed millions of people. In Zimbabwe, the dictator Robert Mugabe has killed hundreds of thousands of people. Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda, killed hundreds of thousands of people. I could go on and on about this. Don't you ever read the newspapers or watch the news on TV?

Illman: But you write, "for the Africans". How do you know that, for example, some African family living in Finland feels this way?

Ellilä: I don't think anyone who can read and write would interpret that passage as referring to every single African in the world. Likewise, the phrase "men are taller than women" does not mean that all men would be taller than all women. I am talking about the statistical averages of large populations.

Illman: The word "neekeri" is underlined in one passage of your text, meaning that there is a link from that word. [The Finnish word "neekeri" corresponds more or less to the English word "Negro".] Did I understand correctly that this is a link to another article by yourself?

Ellilä: Yes. I had written that text prior to the text now examined, since I had noticed that there are a lot of different opinions about the acceptability of the word "neekeri" in Finland today. In that article, I explained that I use the word as a completely neutral term. The word is etymologically the same as "negro" in Spanish, where it simply means "black": for instance, "black coffee" is "café negro" in Spanish. Etymologically, therefore, the words "Negro" and "black" mean exactly the same. The word is also used in all Finnish history books that mention the end of Negro slavery in the United States; history books are of course supposed to be neutral, but all historians consider the end of Negro slavery a positive thing, and therefore I think the term cannot be pejorative because otherwise it wouldn't be used by historians who have a neutral view of black people in general and a positive view of black emancipation in particular. And the corresponding English word, "Negro", has even been used by some black civil rights activists, such as Martin Luther King. There is also an organisation called the United Negro College Fund, which still functions in the United States under this name.

Illman: Don't you find it of any importance that African countries have been colonies and that Europeans are responsible for the current state of Africa?

Ellilä: I consider that a fallacy. African countries gained independence some 40 or 50 years ago, but after that things in Africa have not taken a turn for the better – indeed, in many cases they have taken a turn for the worse. For instance, the relative homicide rate is ten times higher in Africa than in Finland. Do you deny this fact?

Illman [does not answer the question, referring instead to the sentence "Importing Negroes into Europe would lower the European standard of living even if Negroes weren't welfare bums living off taxpayer money"]: What is your foundation for this claim?

Ellilä: The few Africans who have a job do not pay enough taxes to make up for the social benefits received and public services used by the Africans who are outside the labour market. Thus Africans are a net burden on European public finances. Tatu Vanhanen and Richard Lynn have shown in their book that there is a highly significant positive correlation between the median IQ of the population and the country's GDP per capita. If the median IQ of a society goes down because of the influx of low-IQ immigrants, the GDP will go down as well.

Illman: What is your basis for using the word "welfare bum"?

Ellilä: Again, this is a word often used in political discourse about people who are living on other people's money – Finns as well as immigrants. This is also a colloquial term, but less so than "parasite". This word has even been used by some Finnish members of Parliament.

Illman: Since you are still a full-time student, you must be living on social benefits yourself. Are you therefore a welfare bum too?

Ellilä: Well, as I just said, the word can be applied to all people, so yes.

Illman: So you are living on taxpayers' money?

Ellilä: Yes. I see no reason why the word couldn't also be used of students.

Illman: Do you claim that e.g. most homicides are committed by immigrants?

Ellilä: I have obviously never claimed anything like that, since "most" means more than 50 percent. Since immigrants comprise only a few percent of the population of Finland, it is clear that the majority of all crimes are committed by Finns. For instance, immigrants, comprising only about two percent of the total population of Finland, do not commit most rapes, i.e. over 50% of all rapes committed in Finland – but they do commit circa 40% of all rapes.

[There was some laughter from the audience and from some members of the jury at this point.]

Juha Lehto and jury:

This is highly significant information that should be discussed publicly. Astrid Thors, the Minister of Immigration, recently said that crimes that are typical of immigrants should be discussed more. That is exactly what I have done. The writings in my blog represent just the kind of discussion about immigrant criminality that Astrid Thors has called for. According to the statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, Somalis commit robberies over a hundred times more per capita than the Finns do. This is important information that needs to be brought into the open. In fact, it is already in the open, since it can be freely read at the website of the Ministry of Justice. How can a private citizen be punished for quoting web pages released by state authorities?

Time magazine recently published some statistics about the demographics of the US prison population. In my opinion, prison population is a pretty good indicator of criminality in a given demographic group, since prison sentences are passed in relation to the seriousness of the crimes. Thus the differences between demographic groups in the incarceration rate are indicative of differences in crime rates between these demographic groups. According to Time, every ninth black male in the USA is in prison, whereas only every 106th white male is in prison, and only every 355th white female. So the differences in crime rates between the white and black demographic groups in the USA are enormous.

Illman: One of your exhibits is a review of the book IQ and the Wealth of Nations published on the website of an organisation called VDare. What kind of an organisation is this?

Ellilä: I don't know. I found the review by using Google.

Illman: Is it an objective and respectful organisation?

Ellilä: I have no idea. I merely used Google to find information about the book by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. That review happened to include a diagram of over a hundred IQ studies conducted during the 20th century, which is what I was referring to in the exhibit. I wasn't referring to the review itself, which I didn't find too interesting.

Concluding statements

Illman: I would like to refer to some sources. [Illman's sources were two Finnish books: Rikosoikeus ("Penal Code"), a university textbook, and Syrjinnän vastainen käsikirja ("The Anti-Discriminatory Handbook"), published by The International Organization for Migration.] It is true that there is a lot of violence in Africa. However, this does not justify generalisations about immigrants living Finland having a tendency to commit acts of violence. I don't deny that there are immigrants in Finland who commit crimes, but discussion about such matters should be conducted in a respectable vein. Presenting half-truths and coloured truths, as Ellilä does, fulfills the criteria of incitement against an ethnic group. Sentences that begin with words like "Africans behave…" or "Negroes only obey…" are much too broad generalisations to be considered acceptable.

[Reads from one of his source books.] Claiming that one ethnic group is less intelligent than another can also be considered slander. The claims made by Tatu Vanhanen and Richard Lynn are disputable. In referring to these claims, Ellilä is in my view trying to back up his statements in a quasi-scientific manner. As for VDare, it is by no means a scientific or an objective organisation, but an organisation that leans to the extreme right: for example, it opposes Mexican immigration into the United States. I do not consider it an objective source.

Ellilä: I would like to point out that the political leanings of the organization in question are completely irrelevant, since I wasn't referring to the review on their website, but merely to a diagram included in that review, which was based on the findings in Vanhanen's and Lynn's book. I could have just as well provided the court with merely a copy of that diagram. The fact that the prosecutor refers to the "extreme right leanings" of the organisation is in my opinion an indication that he is trying to politicise this trial.

Illman: I consider the charge to have been substantiated. This is a matter of principle. The text is to be confiscated by the state and removed from the Internet. I also demand that the defendant be fined.

Silvennoinen: The charge has not been substantiated. Removing the text from the Internet would be tantamount to book burning. The prosecutor claims that this does not violate freedom of opinion, but what's the use of freedom of opinion if you can't publish your opinions? The prosecutor has not been able to substantiate the charge of incitement against an ethnic group at all. I find it hypocritical of the prosecutor to defend freedom of opinion at one moment and to invalidate it the next – you're entitled to your opinion, but you're not allowed to state it out loud. That's the way things were in the Soviet Union.

4 kommenttia:

Perry de Havilland kirjoitti...

An excellent defence. But what was the verdict????

Adelphi kirjoitti...

It hasn't been passed yet. It'll be passed on 27 March, i. e. tomorrow.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Verdict: Guilty, 30 day-fines totalling 360 euros.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Correction to my previous post:

Sentence was 60 day-fines totalling 360 euros.