Criminal proceedings opened for scratching stars on Tallinn memorial

Scratch marks on the Memorial for victims of communism in Tallinn .
Scratch marks on the Memorial for victims of communism in Tallinn . Source: Estonian Institute of Historical Memory

The police have initiated criminal proceedings on the basis of defamation of the dead after stars and other shapes were scratched into the Victims of Communism Memorial at Maarjamäe in Tallinn last week.

ERR was told by police on Tuesday that criminal proceedings have been initiated under section 149 of the Penal Code, which deals with defamation of the deceased.

There are currently no suspects. Security videos and other evidence are being examined.

Kristi Vares, senior mason of West Harju Police Department said: "Obstruction of a funeral or other commemoration ceremony, looting of a grave or other place declared a final resting place or a memorial to the deceased, or theft of an object from such places is punishable by a pecuniary punishment or up to 1 year of imprisonment."

Riigi Kinnisvara AS, which manages the memorial, has painted over scratch marks made on the memorial's walls in the past.

Sergei Metlev, the public and partner relations manager of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory said on Saturday: "The memorial maintains the connection between the generations and preserves our historical experience, which is why such scribbles are especially disgusting. We ask anyone with information about the violation to contact the police and report it if you notice anything suspicious about the memorial."

The institute also filed the initial report with the police 

The dedication ceremony of the Victims of Communism in Tallinn's Maarjamäe neighbourhood. 23 August 2018. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR


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Editor: Helen Wright

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