Estonians in Sweden condemn EKRE’s attacks in a public appeal

The Estonian community in Sweden, in a public appeal, addressed to the Estonian president, prime minister and chancellor of justice, condemn EKRE’s attacks on minorities and say they’re not going to watch silently how Estonia is moving towards the Hungarian and Polish autocratic societies.

Estonian World publishes the appeal in full.

President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid

Chancellor of Justice of the Republic of Estonia, Ülle Madise

Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Jüri Ratas

31 March 2019 in Stockholm

Public appeal of Estonians living in Sweden

Since the declaration of independence in 1918, as well as after the restoration of independence in 1991, Estonia has shown itself to be an innovative, respectful, open and a democratic state. The losses from the Soviet Union during the years of occupation here and beyond the Iron Curtain have left so many wounds healing slowly in our lives. The Estonian refugee community did not lose faith and the struggle for a free Estonia lasted for decades. Estonia’s development as a democratic country has been remarkable. In a short period of time, a poor and unknown country in the northern part of Europe has become a successful and acknowledged miracle of e-government and one of the world’s leaders in digital development.

Today’s political developments in Estonia make us worried. Since 2015, the Riigikogu has a particular political party whose leading members praise the loathsome, vile dictators of history, while immigrants, refugees, people of colour, the LGBTQ community and many other minority groups are the target of the particular political party’s hostility. A political party whose leaders have publicly expressed their desire to limit freedom of the press and the independence of the judicial courts and who threaten mass riots if they fail in succeeding to get representation in the next government. For many years, Estonia’s membership in the European Union and NATO has been questioned – our steadfast foreign and security policy direction, which was already established at the time of president Lennart Meri.

We condemn the attacks on people of colour and all minority groups, LGBTQ and Jewish communities, gynecologists, human rights defenders, cultural figures, journalists and judges. We are not going to remain silent bystanders when Estonia moves towards the Hungarian and Polish autocratic semi-closed societies under the leadership of populist right radical forces. This is the direction that would lead to a loss of confidence in Estonia from the European Union and other foreign partners. Not to mention the threat to Estonia’s constitutional order, democracy and human rights.

Signatories (alphabetically):

Peter Avo Andrekson, rofessor

Kristiina Gilts Stenhardt, architect

Leena Hurt, entrepreneur

Evelyn Höglund, teacher

Liine Jaanivald, lawyer

Maela Jaanivald, landscape architect

Epp Jaansoo, teacher and conductor

Ilona Jenkins, designer

Sofia Joons, musician and sociologist

Kristjan Jättenfeldt, office manager

Rein Jüriado, public official

Ann Jürisoo Arendi, physiotherapist

Krista Kampus, senior advisor at a think tank

Leo Kant, psychologist and university lecturer

Valdo Kask, freelance journalist

Redi Koobak, cultural scientist

Anu Kuusmann, entrepreneur

Alar Kuutmann, culture

Maimi Laks, designer

Ivar Lill, management consultant

Tiina Mark-Berglund, Statistician

Katrin Meerits, opera singer

Enel Melberg, writer and translator

Linda Meri, HR consultant

Tiina Meri, communication and editing

Lauri Metsvahi, musician

Mart Mägi, professor emeritus, honorary doctor of Tallinn Technical University

Aime Mölder, optik

Avo Mölder, computer specialist

Kristi-Maria Nurm, student

Oskar Nurm, student

Hendrik Nyman, teacher

Mart Nyman, criminal inspector

Ivar Paljak, doctor of technology, 4th Order of the National Coat of Arms

Indrek Parts, entrepreneur

Ivar Paulson, doctor of medicine

Pärtel-Peeter Pere, entrepreneur

Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, professor in media and communication

Peeter Puide, writer and translator

Aho Rebas, former cultural advisor, Valgetähe IV klass

Hain Rebas, professor emeritus, Valgetähe III klass

Karin Rebas, expert in education

Helju Rumma, editor

Leana Salu, conductor

Jaan Seim, former headmaster of the Estonian School in Stockholm, Valgetähe V klass

Katrin Sepp, psychologist

Karin Soots, teacher in early education

Mall Stålhammar, professor emeritus

Taave Sööt Vahermägi, CEO

Maarja Talgre, writer

Evelin Tamm, freelance journalist

Marje Taska, artist

Säde Tatar, freelance musician

Lemmi Tui

Toomas Tuulse, composer and musician

Tõnis Tõnisson

Marie Vaadre, European Parliament candidate (L)

Olav Vahtras, professor

Maire Vill, trainer and arent

Piret Villo, Phd, organic chemistry

Kristina Viira, national handicraft promoter

I

Cover: The representatives of the Estonian community in Sweden handing over the public appeal on 31 March 2019.