Human rights EIT: Finland violated young people’s right to life by failing to prevent school shootings in Kauhajoki

In the autumn of 2008, a 22-year-old man killed ten people at Kauhajoki Vocational College. The man then committed suicide.

Finland violated the right to life of ten young people when the Kauhajoki school shooter was given a gun permit before the act, despite alarming information. This is the conclusion reached by the European Court of Human Rights (EIT) in its judgment on Thursday. The decision was made by a vote of 6–1.

The EIT would interpret the second article of the ECHR, which safeguards everyone’s right to life.

Finland has previously received only one decision to violate this nuclear article. However, it is under review because Alleged death of an asylum seeker returned to Iraq is exposing itself as a scam.

The relatives of the young people who died in the school shooting had complained to the EIT that the shooter had been granted a firearms permit despite his mental health problems. The appellants were 19 relatives.

The gun was also not taken away, although police interviewed the shooter the day before the shooting. The reason for the interview was that the shooter had uploaded suspicious shooting videos and references to Columbine’s school shooting in the United States to the Internet.

According to relatives, the procedure violated Article 2 of the Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to life.

According to the case law of the EIT, the article also obliges public authorities to take active measures to protect human life if a specific threat is known.

22 years old Matti Saari shot ten young people at a school center in Kauhajoki in September 2008. He then committed suicide.

Bullet hole at Kauhajoki Vocational College in autumn 2008.­

Also The Finnish courts have clarified the authorities’ procedure, as the commissioner who interviewed Saar was charged with breach of duty.

According to the Vaasa Court of Appeal the commissioner made an erroneous assessment when he did not temporarily remove the gun from Saari. The Commissioner was warned of a negligent breach of duty.

The relatives of the victims had demanded punishment for willful misconduct and death charges.

However, according to the court, the commissioner had no reasonable reason to suspect Saari was planning a school shootout. Therefore, he is not responsible for the deaths of the victims.

The Commissioner’s judgment was mitigated by the publicity given to the case. According to the court, publicity was in no way related to the commissioner’s suspected crime.

Kauhajoki and due to the previous school shooting of Jokela, gun laws were tightened.

Tightening the law seems to have had the desired effect. The man who granted the school attack in Kuopio said on Monday in the district court that he had to settle for a sword because he could not acquire a handgun.

Acquiring a handgun would have been too difficult, according to the man accused of murder, among other things: his health information would have been reviewed, he would have had to be interviewed by the police, and the process would have been too long anyway.

One of the victims of the school attack died in Kuopio.

Read more: Tightened gun laws could save lives in the Kuopio school attack

The news is updated.


Bhavi Mandalia

Bhavi Mandalia

Enneagram 7. The multi-tasker. Growing one step closer every day to leaving my legacy.

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