Yana Toom: Security Police of Estonia also silences activists


On the 10th of November, the European Parliament discussed the SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) that are used to silence journalists and activists.

Estonian MEP Yana Toom participated in the debates, stressing the fact that SLAPP is just one of the many methods governments can use to suppress criticism and kill pluralism: “Yes, also in the European Union. In some member states, like my home country Estonia, we have the "wonderful" practice of publishing the annual report of the Security Police, in which you can find the names of activists whose views and activities are claimed to be dangerous and to undermine the constitutional order. In most cases, these claims were never proved in court. Conversely, those who find their names in these reports have to go to court and prove that these accusations are false. This reverse burden of proof is in fact the same as in the case of SLAPP: you have to spend time and money to prove that you are not guilty and to protect the same freedom of expression and pluralism. I did it ten years ago and I won. But many of those mentioned by the Security Police during the past two and a half decades never returned to activism. And I strongly believe that in this House we have to pay attention to and fight all possible means to silence people and create "the one and only right" narrative to follow.”

You can watch Yana Toom speaking here.