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Press-release of Legal Information Centre for Human Rights (LICHR)
The Legal Information Centre for Human Rights (LICHR) expresses its unconditional opposition towards violence on the streets of Estonian cities. However LICHR is convinced that those actions were reasoned by arrogant and irresponsible actions of the Estonian government that took a decision regarding carrying over the Monument to the Soldiers perished during the WW II from Tõnismägi regardless of the opinion of the majority of Tallinn inhabitants, competent experts and the City Government. Obviously the principles of democracy and human rights have been neglected upon taking this decision. The Legal Information Centre for Human Rights regrets that the Government of Estonia refuses to take and bare the political responsibility for the outcomes of its decisions. Instead of this, the criminal prosecution is started against the defenders of the monument, which by no means will calm down the society.
Extremely negative consequences were also caused by brutal and unprofessional actions of the police during disposal of those people who on April 26 came to Tõnismägi to show their disagreement with the actions of the power. The investigation of the developments of the last days will yet follow. However, already now it is obvious that during the disposal of the demonstrators and further on those persons who were on streets during the mass disorders by the law-enforcement officers disproportionate use of force was exercised. On the other hand the police did not manage to provide security to the peaceful dwellers of the city and their property. With utter solicitousness LICHR also considers numerous reports about inhuman and degrading treatment of those who were apprehended during the night events. The Legal Information Centre for Human Rights insists that during the investigation the representatives of neutral and competent international organizations, city government and representatives of the civil society must take part.
In order to avoid further escalation of the tension and incitement to ethnic hatred the Legal Information Centre for Human Rights finds it important and appropriate to recommend the following actions:
- In the future the Government of Estonia must avoid actions that the majority of minority members will ambiguously consider as provocation degrading human dignity;
- In order to prevent further violence the republican and local power-holders should guarantee civilized and respecting-law conditions for realization of the right for public expression of the opinion towards the events regarding the Monument on Tõnismägi;
- Minister of Defence Mr. Jaak Aaviksoo must immediately introduce moratorium on any actions regarding the burial place on Tõnismägi;
- Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Jüri Pihl and the Chief Director of the Police Department Mr. Raivo Aeg must objectively investigate and analyse the behaviour of the police officers, guarantee civilized actions during the conflict by their subordinates, prevent cases of aggression based on the ethnic grounds from the police officers and severely punish those of them, who exercise such actions;
- Persons opposing carrying over the Monument from Tõnismägi and their supporters must bare dignity which were have showing until now and suppress activities of the provocateurs exercising illegal actions towards the representatives of the law-enforcement bodies;
- Opponents and supporters of taking the monument down must abstain from actions directed against each other.

April 30, 2007
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