Police investigate political signs as possible racist and homophobic crimes

The Finland Nation First campaign event took place outside a Helsinki shopping centre.

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Picture of Finland First campaign banners in Helsinki / Credit: Twitter

Police in Helsinki have launched an investigation to determine whether some political campaign banners have broken the law.

They’re looking specifically into the leader and a candidate from the small far right party Finnish Nation First, and their recent election stand outside Helsinki’s Kamppi shopping centre.

Banners for Marco de Wit and Kristiina Brandt read “immigrant invaders out” using the derogatory slang term “matut”.

Underneath a picture of each candidate was the slogan “homos get back in the closet”.

Now, police say the campaign material was hateful, and aimed at discriminating against immigrants and sexual minorities.

The investigation will determine whether or not the incident meets the standards for charging a crime of ethnic agitation.

While freedom of speech during an election is an important part of Finland’s political process, hate speech of any kind is not allowed.

In March, police said they would investigate to see whether a similar slogan about “immigrant invaders” on the side of a car used by Finns Party candidate Teuvo Hakkarainen also breached the law.

Hakkarainen recently had his punishment increased, from a criminal conviction of assaulting a female MP in Parliament, after a drunken Christmas party.