Democracy & Justice

Estonia: Student Activist Accused of Defamation by Radio Provocateur

In the summer of 2020, the Estonian Human Rights Centre was contacted by the artist, student and activist Katrina Raiend, who had been taken to court on defamation charges by Radio Sky Plus radio presenter Alari Kivisaar.

by Estonian Human Rights Centre
Katrina Raiend from Estonia was taken to court on defamation charges by radio presenter Alari Kivisaar

Harju County Court decided on Friday 13 May to partially satisfy Kivisaar’s action against Katrina Raiend. You can make your donation here to support the continuation of Katrina´s court case.

'What racism is'

In cooperation with Meris Velling, attorney at law at Liverte Law Office, Katrina Raiend has decided to appeal the decision of Harju County Court. “As Katrina’s case offers an opportunity to discuss in Estonian society what racism is and how to recognize racist expression, together with our donors we support the appeal to the next court instance,” Egert Rünne, head of the Estonian Human Rights Centre, said about the reasons why the centre contributes to the case.

Katrina Raiend has stated that the petition in question was primarily intended as a petition to the employer: “I cannot remove people from a public company, but I can gather people with similar opinions and submit a petition. Before the petition, we also wrote directly to Sky Media, but unfortunately there was no response. With the petition, we wanted to show that there are quite a few people who care about minorities and women in Estonia.”

Public figures empower minorities

Raiend added that the judgment of the first instance court is, of course, unexpected, but she is also grateful for the support of many people, which makes it possible to turn to the next court instance. “As this is a fundamental dispute on an issue that is important to me, we decided to continue the court process together with the lawyer. We hope to contribute to Estonia, where public figures use words to empower minorities,” Raiend shared her thoughts.

In June 2020, Katrina created a public petition to remove Kivisaar from the radio broadcasting, with the aim of defending the fundamental values of all of us and resisting injustices that belittle minorities. Katrina Raiendi’s court journey continues with the filing of an appeal with the Tallinn Circuit Court, the facts of the case can be found here.

Civic Space Policy Paper 2022

Civic Space Needs Our Protection

Read more