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Interior minister: EKRE youth wing members' firearms photos not a concern

Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE)
Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Chair of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme says he does not see any major issue with members of the party's youth wing, Blue Awakening (Sinine Äratus) posing with weapons posted on social media.

Responding to concerns expressed by an opposition MP during question time at Wednesday's Riigikogu session, Helme noted that tens of thousands of people in Estonia own firearms.

"We have approximately 14,000 hunters, 25,000 members of the volunteer Defence League (Kaitseliit), 3,000 police officers, and tens of thousands of people assigned to the [military] reserve, who have passed weapons training tactical exercises ," Helme said, adding that being photographed holding a weapon can in no way be considered incitement or a threat to constitutional order, Baltic News Service reports.

Social Democratic Party (SDE) MP Riina Sikkut raised the matter during question time, after photos had appeared at an organized firearms practice at a firing range.

"The fact that young people took vain pictures afterwards means nothing; it does not mean any kind of threat to constitutional order or yourself when walking down the street," Helme said.

"And when a provocative question is asked as to whether you are going to take to the streets and they response is they do not see a need for it right now, since they trust the interior minister, they trust the police, they trust the constitutional order, then all is well," Helme added.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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