Having Paid Its Bronze Night Debts, State Continues to Collect from Vandals
According to a quick check by the Delfi news site, the Estonian state has paid a total of 47,000 euros to seven Estonian residents deemed to have been wrongfully detained and held during the 2007 riots, while receiving half that figure from the vandals convicted.
Back in March 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of seven people who filed a complaint accusing the state of abuse and unlawful detention during the time of the "Bronze Night" riots.
Estonia was ordered to pay nearly 50,000 euros. Finance Ministry press representative Mailin Aasmäe told Delfi that the damages were paid by the state on September 20.
Because of the riots, in which nearby shops in Tallinn absorbed the brunt of the protesters' ire, the state filed claims of its own against 66 individuals totaling 134,841 euros. To this point, 24,438 euros have been paid.
The April 26-27, 2007 unrest in Tallinn was sparked by the relocation of a Soviet-era statue and graves of unknown soldiers from a park in the city center to a new site at the Defense Forces Cemetery.
Besides the vandalism, the week witnessed extensive denial-of-service cyber attacks from Russian Federation servers and the involvement of Russia-supported youth groups, with the Estonian ambassador to Russia physically intimidated in Moscow. Estonian riot police were praised for physical restraint during the worst two nights, but others have said they were procedurally heavy-handed.