Rumista sanoista rundia? Kurinpitorangaistus ja vankien sananvapauden rajoittaminen
In November 2016 the Parliamentary Deputy-Ombudsman of Finland conducted an inspection in Mikkeli Prison. His report, issued in January 2017, uncovered numerous serious breaches of the law. It was revealed, for instance, that prisoners had received relatively harsh disciplinary punishments for their criticisms of prison guards. This article examines whether solitary confinement, imposed as a punishment for expressing such criticisms and using abusive language, may constitute an unnecessary and unlawful interference with a prisoner’s right to freedom of speech. In addition, this article considers the conditions under which restrictions of prisoners’ constitutional rights, particularly the right to freedom of speech, can be applied. The case law of the European Court of Human Rights has played an essential role as a source in the research process. In conclusion, the writer advances the view that the use of disciplinary punishment in prison as a consequence of exercising the right to freedom of speech should be exceptional and reserved solely for the worst excesses.