• Sweden edition
 
Swedes' anti-gay flyers not free speech: court

Swedes' anti-gay flyers not free speech: court

Published: 09 Feb 2012 12:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2012 12:06 GMT+01:00

According to the ECHR, finding the leaflets were "unnecessarily offensive" to be protected by free speech laws.

The men, who were aged between 19 and 24 at the time, distributed roughly 100 flyers into student lockers in a school in Söderhamn in eastern Sweden in December 2004.

They were told to leave the premises at the time by school officials.

The flyers contained messages discussing the mens' views on homosexuality, which they referred to as “deviant sexual proclivity”.

The flyer also stated that homosexuals had “a morally destructive effect on the substance of society” and were responsible for the development of HIV and AIDS.

According to the men, their objective was not to promote hate speech, rather to create a debate concerning the school’s objectivity in their education system.

The men were later accused of promoting hate speech, and the Supreme Court in Sweden convicted them in 2006 of agitating a minority community, stating that the men had given the students no possibility to refuse the flyers by leaving them in the lockers.

Three of the men received suspended sentences, and were given fines ranging from €200 to €2,000 ($265 to $2650).

They four men then take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in January 2007, arguing the Supreme Court ruling constituted a violation of their freedom of expression.

In a statement released on Thursday, the European Court declared the applicants’ complaint was “inadmissible as being manifestly ill-founded”.

The ECHR also noted that discrimination based on sexual orientation is as serious as those on “race, origin or colour”, and that the flyers had been unnecessarily offensive.

It also stated that the Supreme Court's sentence was reasonable.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:40 February 9, 2012 by philster61
How about some anti-anti gay flyers.....
15:19 February 9, 2012 by truthworthy
well well another hypocritical move. Where are the ones who were saying Vilks had a free speech to insult Muslim minority in Sweden?
16:52 February 9, 2012 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Another Left Wing victory.

Be careful if you complain about the government or the politicians in it...too loudly.
17:53 February 9, 2012 by mafketis
Of course Vilks had every right to express himself and if some muslims don't like it then I don't care.

And of course these people have every right to express themselves and if some people don't like it then I don't care.

In both cases it's the responsibility of those offended to come up with reasonable logical arguments or to shut up.
18:34 February 9, 2012 by Indignerad
@mafketis: What you just described is not free speech.
19:09 February 9, 2012 by zooeden
They were from Uganda those retards!!! Have you seen the video "eat the poo poo?" its epic ladies and gentleman!!! EPIC!!!
23:37 February 9, 2012 by mafketis
@indignerad, then please enlighten me as to what I described and your version of free speech....
00:31 February 10, 2012 by kiaat
those minorities need lots of protection.. gays... and muslims... and who should get the most protection? gay muslims!

i am sure those boys had lots of fun thinking about all the deviant behaviour as they were slipped things into slots in the men's lockroom.

free speech is not there to incite hate. that is how it works in europe... what a waste of tax payers money and the courts time. if you want to trash guys that like guys or girls that like girls move it over to countries that are into that... i would say middle east and dark africa would work better.. let the nordics hold onto their values of equality and respect.
01:13 February 10, 2012 by axiom
Who made whom the judge of what is wrong or right.

In Nordic countries, civic society has no isssues with homosexuality and that's that.

I have said so on these pages before, You cannot use your right to free speech to incite hate and launch personal attacks. If we open this can of worms, where will it stop, anarchy?
07:13 February 10, 2012 by TheWatchman
@kiaat

Don't you know what happens to gay Muslims?

I personally think gays need protection, not just in Sweden, but everywhere. On the other hand, Muslims don't. In Sweden, they are given priority over regular Swedes anyway for some reason.
09:18 February 10, 2012 by mafketis
"I have said so on these pages before, You cannot use your right to free speech to incite hate and launch personal attacks"

In a free society criticism of others' lifestyles must be protected.

If the flyers overtly (or not very covertly) advocate violence against gay people then that's one thing. If they merely repeat stupid, idiotic lies that anyone with an IQ over 50 knows are stupid lies then .... who cares?

Similarly, advocating violence against Muslims is wrong (and not protected speech) but criticising and/or ridiculing aspects of Islam is legitimate free expression and if Muslims don't like it then too bad. If you can't take the heat of free speech then stay out of the kitchen of civil society.
23:46 February 10, 2012 by Stuart Parsons
When are the ignorant and prejudced going to realise that most homosexuals are born that way. Why do people make such a fuss about it ?
15:18 February 11, 2012 by tetrahedron
I don't understand The watchman's assertion that gays need protection but Muslims don't. It has been often said before that with rights come responsibilites. There has been an increase in the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmiited diseases in the UK recently, mainly due to promiscuity amongst the gay community. If gay people keep insisting on their rights, they should be also taking the responsibiltiy not to harm the rest of the population.

I hope that what I have just said is protected in the name of free speech, as someone needs to say it.

I don't believe in inciting hatred but in making people aware of the facts.
09:33 February 13, 2012 by zooeden
@tetrahedron

Wow, check your facts then, otherwise you might sound rather retrograde, ironic or even ignorant. its hillarious that you think the gay community is harming, endangering the rest of UK, marvelous fellow to talk to you should be!!!
19:48 February 13, 2012 by Khaliil
@ Stuart Parsons Pl3ease tell, what is the genetic difference between heterosexual & homosexual, what causes a person to be born that way?

If 'most' are born that way, what of those who were not born that way, what changed them?
20:11 October 11, 2012 by janeway
07:13 February 10, 2012 by The Watchman: Thumbs up for you!
Today's headlines
Interview
'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag

Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag tells The Local why he plans to remove the term "race" from all Swedish law, how he responds to his critics, and why Sweden must steer clear of xenophobia. READ  

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Tourism in Sweden is on the rise, with the first half of 2014 seeing a boom in visiting figures for both domestic and foreign tourists. READ  

Northern Dispatches
How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

Ex-Londoner Paul Connolly has just survived a northern Sweden heat wave. But it wasn't the high temperatures that were the real problem, he recounts. READ  

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

Saturday marks the Stockholm Pride Parade, the biggest event of Pride Week (and the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia). Here's what to see and where to be, as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities for the weekend. READ  

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden
File photo: Carl Dougge/Flickr

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden

Even though Sweden's Traffic Agency has drastic plans to reduce the number of people killed by trains in Sweden, a new report shows that figures are on the rise. READ  

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

UPDATED: A woman in southern Sweden is furious after stumbling upon scores of skulls and human bones inside Ikea bags in a church. The man who dug up the bones, however, says it's not as bad as it looks. READ  

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

There are now more Swedish Wikipedia entries than any other language in the world, besides English. And there's one Swede who's largely responsible. READ  

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police
The aftermath of the attack in Seved, Malmö on July 6th 2014. Drago Prvulovic / TT

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police

Police in southern Sweden have concluded that a man who was beaten with an iron pipe for hanging an Israeli flag in his window was not a victim of a hate crime. READ  

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook
Photo: Claus Gertsen/TT

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

After fighting off a fierce takeover bid from Pfizer, Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca raised its 2014 earnings outlook and posted rising second quarter sales on Thursday. READ  

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Stockholm demonstration against Israel
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

743
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se