In recent years, there has been a lot of hate speech and racist intimidation against the Sámi, especially on the Norwegian and Swedish side. This is due to e.g. Sámi legal proceedings and efforts on protecting reindeer herding pastures of the Sámi. Not to forget that in the Russian side a Sámi activist got arrested this year because of defending Indigenous rights.
In addition to intimidation and racist activity against the Sámi at the local level, hate speech against the Sámi has increased with social media and internet discussion forums, which has also had a negative impact on Sámi freedom of expression. The equal right of the Sámi to enjoy freedom of expression is threatened by, among other things, attempts to silence, subordination for example by stereotyping, and disinformation systematically disseminated about the history of the Sámi. In the past months there have been attempts to silence Sámi on the social media when they have raised the issues regarding the amendment work of the Sámi Parliament Act in Finland.
The Finnish PEN organizes a panel discussion on the current state of freedom of speech and the rights of the Indigenous Sámi people. The panel discussion will be held on December 13th 2021 at 18.00-19.30 (UTC +2) via Zoom.
Please sign up for the event via this link.
The Zoom link for the event will be sent to those who have signed up. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive the link.
The panel includes three Sámi experts Helga West, Kaisa-Mari Jama and Oula-Antti Labba. Helga West is a theologian and an active blogger. Kaisa-Mari Jama is a PhD student and the Chair of Sámi association Mii in Rovaniemi. Oula-Antti Labba is a member of the PEN Finland board and works as a lawyer in the Human Rights Unit of the Saami Council. Panel is moderated by Sámi freedom of speech expert Pirita Näkkäläjärvi who was part of the group producing the Hate Speech Toolkit by the Finnish PEN. The language of the panel is English.
Finnish PEN is an international association of writers promoting freedom of expression founded in 1928. It is part of PEN International and according to its charter aims to defend and promote literature and freedom of expression everywhere in the world.