Koort: each no entry case weighed considerably ({{commentsTotal}})

Entry bans are always declared on a case-by-case scenario and no decision comes lightly, says Erkki Koort, the Deputy Secretary General for Internal Security Policy at the Ministry of the Interior.

“The right and obligation of an independent state is to defend its population,” he said, adding that the public interest of not allowing a person into Estonia, and the legal right and reasons of that person entering the nation are both weighed.

Koort said the reasons for declaring someone persona non grata are always different and personal, and details can not be made public due to protection of personal information laws.

He states the usual reasons as a threat to the security of Estonia, to public order, to the safety of society, to the health of other people, but also for moral reasons or when a person has dealt with cross-border drug or illegal immigrant smuggling, works for or has worked for a foreign intelligence service. People who want to incite racial, religious or political hatred can also be rejected at the border.

“Informing the person can not be underestimated in preventing future problems and if the moment of the decision allows and the contact information of the person is known, then the person is informed about the no entry ban. But the decision of a no entry ban is not dependent on whether the person can be reached or not,” Koort said.

Italian journalist and former politician Giulietto Chiesa was detained in his hotel room in Tallinn on December 15 and was asked to leave the country for violating such a ban. According to media reports, the ban itself was only issued two days earlier.

In mid-October former Russian government minister Valery Tishkov was turned away at the border having received a five-year entry ban in 2013.

Both were due to speak at a pro-Kremlin NGO event.

Editor: A. Krjukov, J.M. Laats

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