Lone prisoner wins right to vote

Photo: AFP/Scanpix
2/27/2015 10:46 AM
Category: Politics

A prisoner won the right to vote at the March 1 elections after a decision by Tallinn District Court, despite Estonian legislation removing voting rights from prisoners.

Anneli Vilu, a spokesman for the court, told EER that Estonia's Parliament has failed to harmonize legislation with a European Court of Human Rights decision which does not allow governments to ban all prisoners from voting at national elections.

The court ruled that since Estonia's Parliament has not discussed the topic, and bans prisoner participation indiscriminately, instead of setting out criteria, or allowing some prisoners to vote. The Court of Human Rights has said some prisoners should be allowed to vote, such as those serving time for lesser crimes.

The decision only implies to the one prisoner who took the state to court, but could open up court cases against the state from the remaining 3,000 prisoners.

J.M. Laats

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