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State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov welcomed the results of a parliamentary delegation’s visit to Estonia earlier this week
The head of the delegation and the chairman of the State Duma the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Nikolai Kovalev, informed Gryzlov about the results of the trip. The delegation was assured that Estonian authorities would carry out a thorough investigation of each human rights violation complaint in Estonia. “Such facts did occur during the dispersion of manifestations organised by the opponents of the dismantlement of the monument in Tallinn, and all of them have to be investigated to see whether police actions were lawful and justified,” Gryzlov said. Kovalev stressed that Estonian authorities “showed unmotivated cruelty during the developments of April 27-28.” “Russia is going to defend the rights of the victims in various international courts during the investigation of the violation of human rights in Estonia,” he said. Previously Leonid Slutsky, deputy head of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, who was a member of the delegation, told Itar-Tass that the Russian legislators had established facts of massive violation of human rights in Estonia during the dismantling of the Bronze Soldier. According to his information, the MPs managed to find on their own the terminal at the seaport of Tallinn, where the detainees had been held on the night of April 28. They had been handcuffed and beaten up. Slutsky said there had been teenagers and old people among them. “It was a horrific sight, especially in view of the fact that Estonia is a member of the Council of Europe. This is the most flagrant violation of human rights in the modern history of Estonia,” Slutsky said with indignation. During the two days of their stay in the Estonian capital the Russian lawmakers had meetings with politicians and representatives of law enforcement agencies. They also visited the military cemetery, where the Monument to the Liberator Soldier was moved. They were not allowed to see the excavation of the common grave of Soviet soldiers, however. “We were told that there was no need for foreigners to visit the place,” Slutsky told Itar-Tass. Slutsky said earlier that the situation in Estonia “is beyond common sense”. He said the events in Tallinn also run counter to any international standards and numerous conventions which Estonia has joined, primarily the European Convention on Human Rights. “There should be an appropriate reaction from the international community. We must not allow such events as those in Estonia to recur,” Slutsky said. “Trampling upon the remains of the Soviet soldiers goes against all ethic, moral, international and civilised norms. The use of force against those who are trying to prevent the reburial of the heroes who freed Estonia of the fascist plague is unjustified,” the deputy said.
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