TALLINN – A pro-Russian pressure group says it intends to identify and “punish” police officers on duty during the recent Bronze Soldier disturbances.
Members of the Night Vigil, a group consisting mainly of Russian-speaking young people set up to defend the Soviet-era war memorial in Tallinn, say they are trying to obtain a computer program that could single out police officers in video footage of the riots.
Night Vigil member Yuri Zhuravlyov told the Russian-language daily MK Estonia : "Our aim is to help restore justice. We want the culprits to be punished."
Zhuravlyov himself was one of the protestors detained on the night of April 27 and claims that he witnessd police brutality.
The activist did not rule out the possibility of turning to Russia’s law enforcement bodies for technical assistance.
However, an unnamed source told the Postimees daily that Night Vigil's real aim goes far beyond collecting credible evidence and starting legal action against police officers.
“Night Vigil can't live with the knowledge that many Russian-speaking officers stood in the ranks of the police,” said the source, who further suggested the organization's plan is to identify ethnically Russian police and then post their names and pictures on the Internet.
Security police superintendent Irina Mikson said the security police is aware of the Night Vigil plans. She added that Night Vigil, together with the Human Rights Information Center that is collecting complaints about police violence during the April disturbances, are working in Russia’s interests.
According to the security police yearbook for 2004, the Tallinn-based HRIC is indirectly guided by the Russian embassy and financed by Russia.