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Estonia: Government Update

Factfile: information update 8 May 2007

Police Information related to 8 May and 9 May

* In Tallinn and the county of Harjumaa, public gatherings are prohibited until 11 May. The police will not interfere with the laying of flowers or with other peaceful ways of commemorating those who were killed in World War II. However, such commemoration must not be accompanied by public gatherings, incitement to hatred or other violations of public order.

Information from Prosecutor’s Office as of 7 May

* There have been 63 criminal proceedings initiated all over Estonia, most of them due to aggravated breach of public order committed in groups.
* 55 persons have been arrested, including 4 citizens of Russia (1 of them arrested in Tallinn and 3 in the county of Ida-Virumaa), 25 Estonian citizens, 25 stateless persons and one citizen of Lithuania. All citizens of foreign countries have been guaranteed the right to meet with the consular staff of his/her country without any interference.
* By today, the Prosecutor’s Office has received in total 6 complaints on the action taken by the police. All these complaints will be thoroughly examined. In case of establishing any elements of criminal offence a criminal investigation will be initiated in order to study all the circumstances in more detail. Today, there has been identified no reasons for initiating criminal proceedings.
* Individual approach will be used in case of all the suspects and they will be treated as any other person suspected of a criminal offence: considering all the circumstances, both mitigating and aggravating. Therefore, also the punishments will be different – in some cases imprisonment cannot be avoided but in case of the others a fair punishment can be community service.
* Only the most dangerous offenders have been arrested: persons already punished for committing criminal offence, those caught at the crime scenes with physical evidence (e.g. stolen merchandise) or those suspected in organising the disorders. There are some minors among the persons arrested.

Identification of Remains, Future of Grave Marker

* On 7 May the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered Nikolai Uspenski, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, a diplomatic note informing Russia about the remains discovered at Tõnismägi. It is highly probable that the remains belong to the soldiers of the Soviet Army. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will send a note with similar content also to the Embassy of Ukraine.
* The test results of the Bureau of Forensic Medicine of Estonia indicate that there were the remains of 12 adults buried at Tõnismägi. Based on external inspection at least 9 of the persons buried were men but the final results will be available after getting the results of a DNA analysis.
* The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Embassy of the Russian Federation to inform the Estonian authorities by 7 June at the latest about all close relatives who would like to attend the reburial ceremony, in order to consider that while organising the ceremony. Estonia will cover the costs of two close relatives attending the reburial ceremony. The reburial of the remains to the Cemetery of Defence Forces located at Filtri tee, Tallinn, is planned to take place in the second half of June this year.

Integrating Estonia

* It is clear that today we need more dialogue in our society for discussing both our current situation and the steps to be taken in the future. The cornerstone of the integration policy has been and continues to be the principle that all the people living in Estonia must have equal opportunities. Government has been an active supporter of the preservation of the languages and cultures of our national minorities and plans to pursue this policy also in the future. The National Integration Strategy for 2008-2013 being prepared includes several important additions and new activities.
* On 7 May was launched a news portal in Russian at http://novosti.etv24.ee/, some broadcasts of the Estonian national TV will have Russian subtitles and the foundation of a digital TV channel in Russian is being considered.

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