Radio presenter wants €75,000 damages from petition organizer

Alari Kivisaar.
Alari Kivisaar. Source: Social media.

A radio show presenter is suing the initiator of a petition requesting his dismissal after he allegedly made remarks including a racial slur while on-air.

Katrina Raiend, who goes by the online handle Katrina Indiana, says that Alari Kivisaar, who co-hosts a talk show on commercial radio station SkyPlus, is seeking €75,000 in damages, a sum which she says she would be in no position to find.

"As an artist and a student, a claim for damages of that amount comes as a real shock to me," Raiend wrote on her twitter account.

"Contrary to the impression given to the public, Kivisaar has not wanted to find any other solution, including an apology," she added.

As reported on ERR News, Kivisaar, says he is suing several individuals for slander, adding he has been the target of a mass online defamation campaign following on-air remarks he made about the U.S. police killing of George Floyd in May, during which he allegedly used a racial slur.

Raiend says that every person wanting to sign the petition has the option to verify that its claim is true simply by listening to the radio programe's recording, and then to draw their own conclusions based on what they heard.

Kivisaar said Wednesday via a video address that he had given all parties involved the chance to apologize, but since this had not been forthcoming, his only option was to go to court, hiring Meris Velling, a sworn advocate at the Estonian Center for Human Rights (Eesti inimõiguste keskus) and law firm Liverte.

Kivisaar is citing free speech as his defense, something which Raiend says does not extend to making racist or otherwise bigoted remarks publicly. Raiend says her aim with the petition is to protect fundamental values and avoid normalizing such statements and rights violations, particularly by public figures.

Given the worldwide situation, Raiend added that silence was not an option for her.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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