Writer's union reverses course and expels Peeter Helme

Peeter Helme in court on November 30, 2020.
Peeter Helme in court on November 30, 2020. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Estonian Writers' Union (EKL) is to expel journalist Peeter Helme from its ranks after all, reversing an earlier decision which would have kept his membership intact. Helme has been convicted with the sexual solicitation of a minor.

EKL chair Tiit Aleksejev, addressing the organization's members, said that: "Public reaction, particularly with a growing number of EKL members, has proved that the condemnation accompanying the December 21 decision [for Helme to retain his EKL membership] carries weight in Peeter Helme's expulsion being the sole outcome."

At the end of November, Harju County Court sentenced Helme to one year and four months' prison in suspended sentence, with a two-year probationary period running concurrently. Helme is reportedly planning to appeal the decision at the second-tier circuit court.

Following last week's announcement, one member, the writer Sass Henno, announced via his social media account that he was leaving the EKL over the decision. Henno was subsequently joined by writer Andra Teede and theater critic Meelis Oidsalu, with the likelihood that more resignations would follow.

Tiit Aleksejev opted to expel Helme instead, to avoid any further deterioration in the EKL's reputation and/or its possible dissolution, he said.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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