• 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
Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

Elections 2014
Liberals hint at bringing back conscription
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Liberals hint at bringing back conscription

With Russia becoming "all the more aggressive", the Liberal Party leader and education minister, Jan Björklund, has suggested that Sweden may have to reintroduce conscription. READ  

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Roles were reversed in a bear hunt on Thursday night, when a Swedish hunter was attacked by his prey, leaving the man in hospital in a serious condition. READ  

How immigration became a key election issue
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

How immigration became a key election issue

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt sparked a furore with recent comments that put rising refugee costs in focus before the elections. But why did he bring it up, and will it affect the outcome? READ  

 Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership

A Swedish court has rejected a request from the Chinese-owned automaker NEVS, which owns the financially-troubled Swedish brand Saab, to be placed in receivership until it could attract new financing. READ  

Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
The view of Kebnekaise's southern peak, soon to be the second highest peak in the country. Photo: Stockholm University

Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year

Mount Kebnekaise's southern peak will no longer be the highest point in Sweden by 2015, researchers predicted on Thursday, adding that the change will spell a major blow for tourism in the region. READ  

Gothenburg preschools end school photography
Moments like these are a thing of the past for Gothenburg preschoolers. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Gothenburg preschools end school photography

Preschool managers in Gothenburg have decided to ban class photos at preschools in their municipality, citing the different financial situations of families as one reason for the change. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
This is Stockholm. Don’t worry - be happy. File photo: ASIFE/iStockphoto

Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm

Many consider Sweden a pretty safe place to live, but what if an icicle pierces your little toe or a ray of midnight sun sets fire to your kettle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sorting out insurance in Sweden. READ  

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
The cast of The Cold Swedish Winter.

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show

The Local chats to UK funnyman Danny Robins about his new radio show The Cold Swedish Winter, which is making waves on BBC radio. He talks elk, moose, and what it means to be a Swedophile. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
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

759
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
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