Police in the riots

Article published on May 3, 2007
community published
Article published on May 3, 2007
Moscow accuses Estonian police of human rights violations during the riots in Tallinn. One week after the clashes only 6 petitions have been made against the behaviour of the police. The protests in Tallinn during 26-27 April left one person dead and 153 injured. More than 1000 people were detained by the police during the riots, most of them freed by now.
The Chief Prosecutor of the Northern Circuit Prosecutor’s Office, Lavly Lepp, said the office will seriously consider the complaints against police and launch the criminal procedure if needed.

 Lepp said that according to law the prosecutors have 10 days to consider the petitions. Russian ambassador to the OSCE Alexei Borodavkin accuses NATO and the EU in tacitly approving the human rights violations. 'The grave human rights violations in Estonia, which we have witnessed recently, are the result of indifference and tacit consent by the EU and NATO, the organizations that have admitted a country, which has trampled on the fundamental values of European culture and democracy,' says Borodavkin. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded an investigation into the killing of Dmitry Ganin, a 20-year old Russian citizen stabbled to death during the first night of riots in Tallinn, and immediate access to the detained Russian protesters. Estonain Chancellor of Justice, Allar Jõks, who visited the detention cells on Saturday 27th, noted that none of the detainees complained about the police and the excessive force it allegedly used against the protesters. Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and the EU HR Javier Solana, have voiced their support to Estonia's government, amid sharply deteriorated relations between Estonia and Russia over the removal of the WWII Red Army memorial statue bronze soldier. Estonia's North prosecutor's office has said the 20-year old Russian citizen Dimirty was stabbed around midnight on April 27. Gravely injured, he was rushed to hospital where he died while undergoing surgery. The prosecutor's office has stressed that the death of the man was in no way connected with the activity of the police to ensure public order in Tallinn. Similar statements have been repeatedly made by the Chief of Estonian Police, Raivo Aeg. A criminal investigation has been started on the basis of the Penal Code article dealing with manslaughter. Conviction under it carries a jail sentence of up to 15 years. Estonian daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht quoted yesterday senior prosecutor investigating the death of Dimitry Ganin, saying that the data collected so far in the investigation, give reason to suppose that Dmitri and another young man named Oleg taken to the hospital with Dmitri, were looting shops and kiosks. According to the prosecutor the goods with price tags were found in the pockets of both young men. Recent rioting in the streets of Tallinn have once again highlighted the problems with integration of ethnic Russians to Estonian society. Analysts argue that the greatest barrier on that way is Kremlin's massive propaganda campaign against Estonia. It has been argued that the integration has failed as Russians continue to live in a different information space. The lack of Estonian-based television channels for ethnic Russians have led Estonian Russians to follow Kremlin controlled Russian television and gain inadequate information about Estonian politics

Kadri Kukk - Tallinn