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Riigikogu passes law banning symbols of aggression

A Riigikogu sitting in progress.
A Riigikogu sitting in progress. Source: Patrik Tamm / ERR

The Riigikogu on Thursday passed legislation to ban the use of symbols of aggression. Three EKRE MPs voted against.

The bill was passed into law at its third reading with 69 votes for and three against. The latter came from Conservative People's Party (EKRE) MPs Kalle Grünthal, Martin Helme and Ruuben Kaalep. Other EKRE members present abstained from voting.

Center MP Mailis Reps also decided not to vote, while the remaining centrists support the bill.

The law will introduce amendments to the Penal Code that have been prompted by Russia's attack against Ukraine and will ensure an appropriate punishment if a person takes part in aggression. Pursuant to the act, joining the armed forces of a foreign state committing an act of aggression or any other armed unit participating in an act of aggression committed by a foreign state, participation in the commission of or preparing an act of aggression by a foreign state as well as knowingly and directly, including financially supporting an act of aggression by a foreign state is punishable as a criminal offence. Such an activity is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years. If such an act is committed by a legal person, it is punishable by a pecuniary punishment.

The law also provides that it is not allowed to publicly exhibit symbols connected with the commission of an act of aggression, genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime in a way that expresses support to or justifies such activities. This is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units or €1200, or detention. If such an act is committed by a legal person, it is punishable by a fine of up to €32,000.

It is planned that the section relating to the exhibition of symbols will enter into force on the day following the day of publication in the Riigi Teataja.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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