lauantai 17. tammikuuta 2009

Apartheid-review, week 2/2009:

The show trial against four Russian Estonian men ended expectedly with the release from all the charges. The men were charged with organizing the riots during the so called Bronze Nights in April 2007. The court did not find any evidence that the riots were planned and not spontaneous. One of the defendants, Maksim Reva, told the Russian tv-channel Vesti, that he has considered the court case as political from the very beginning: “In one sentence the judge released me from all guilt. She criticized the work of the prosecutor and the Estonian Secret Police as suspicious.” (Eesti Päevaleht online 05.01.2009)
From the protocols of the Harju County Court one can read, that another defendant, Mark Sirõk felt that he is being "tortured" psychologically. Under the questioning in police chamber he was forced for three hours to read a history book of Mart Laar. In his books on Estonian history Mart Laar, the ex-prime minister, is rehabilitating fascism and considers Soviet Estonia as Soviet occupation. (Eesti Päevaleht online 07.01.2009)
Estonian Secret Police was tapping the telephones of the group, Night Watch, already long before the riot night. Night Watch volunteers were guarding the Bronze Soldier war memorial. On the tapes Dmitri Linter, the leader of the Night Watch, was analysing the situation just before the riots started in the night of 25th of April. According to the Secret Police Linter said that there is no need for him to do anything as people are ready to do nasty things without him raising his finger: “Boys are ready for war.” (Eesti Ekspress 08.01.2009)
The fourth defendant, journalist Dimitri Klenski did not think that the decision made Estonia a democratic constitutional state. “That I don´t believe, but the decision showed me that the court is independent”, he thanked. (Postimees 06.01.2009)

The Russian Foreign Ministry regarded the decision as a defeat for those that want to rewrite Second World War history. “The Court Decision confirmed once again that the social discontent with the Estonian Government´s provocation to disgrace the grave of soviet soldiers and dismantle the statue of liberators in Tallinn, was justified. The release of the Night Watch leaders points the finger at the real culprits: those who intend to disgrace the memory of the fallen soldiers and rewrite the history”, Russian FM informed through Interfax. (Eesti Päevaleht online 05.01.2009)

The Russian media and some Estonian columnists demanded the resignation of Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip because of the Bronze Night events. “In any case the Prime Minister should have taken the responsibility of the fiasco of the Bronze Night. First, PM represents the state, which took the riots to the court - and state lost. Secondly PM´s promise to cruelly punish hooligans, is not fulfilled. Thirdly, somebody has to carry the responsibility for the Bronze Night”, Estonian columnist Ahto Lobjakas wrote in the Estonian Daily "Postimees" (10.01.2009).

Eastern Police District is suffering because of its non-Estonian speaking police force. The Estonian language police has given fines to 112 police officers. All together 160 policemen in eastern Estonia are not fulfilling the language requirements and should, according to law, be sacked. The chief of the district, Aivar Otsalt, considers it impossible to fire all these policemen without a collapse in the security in the region. Besides, the policemen working in the Russian speaking environment, are very professional. “It's impossible for them to be sacked or replaced by some other workers. We have to find some other measures to motivate them to learn the state language” said the police chief inspector in Eesti Päevaleht online (10.01.2009)

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