Feb. 28, 2017

Estonia Communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2017

This page summarizes cases raised with Estonia by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2017 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Estonia.

Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared.

Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available).

Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Estonia, English).

First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012)


Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013)


Third Report (March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014)


Fourth Report (March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015)


Fifth Report (March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016)


Sixth Report (March 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017)

  1. Joint allegation letter, Case no. EST 1/2016 State reply: 02/08/2016. Alleged stigmatization of a human rights defender advocating for the rights of linguistic minorities. According to the information received, on 12 April 2016, the Estonian Internal Security Service published its 2015 annual review, in which it mentioned Ms. Alisa Blintsova in the context of posing a threat to the constitutional order of the Estonian state.


Responses to communications
The Special Rapporteur acknowledges the response of the Government of Estonia to the communication sent on 27 May 2016.

The Special Rapporteur remains concerned at the alleged stigmatizing portrayal of woman human rights defender Ms. Blintsova in the official report of the Estonian Internal Security Service. The report mentioned the human rights defender twice in the context of threats against the Estonian State and public order. In the first instance the report referred to an interview the human rights defender gave to the news programme “Vesti” of the Russian television station Rossiya (7 June 2015), and in another instance to Ms. Blintsova’s membership in the Russian School in Estonia and her comments on EU refugee policy on the Russian television channel NTV on 26 July 2015. The information in the report was accompanied by a picture of Ms. Blintsova and presented her activities as an example of a foreign state’s influence operations conducted through government controlled media channels.

In its reply of 2 August 2016, the Government explained that referral to Ms. Blintsova’s activities is justified by the fact that they constitute an example of a foreign state using the European migration crisis with an aim to instigate ethnic tensions in Estonia as well as to provoke confrontation between the members of the EU and NATO by distributing false and incorrect information. The Government also acknowledged that the publication of one’s name in the EISS annual review may interfere with one’s private life, but asserted that in justified cases the publication of a person’s name by the EISS in connection with threats to national security and constitutional order is necessary and proportionate.

Nevertheless, the Special Rapporteur notes that disclosing Ms. Blintsova’s identity and publishing her photographs does not appear to be necessary for understanding the concerns expressed in the reports. Further, referral to individuals in such reports might not only have a stigmatizing effect for the person concerned and expose her to risks, but may also have a negative impact on the image of human rights defenders in Estonia generally.

For the full reports, containing communications, replies and observations for all countries, see the following links:

Report A/HRC/20/27/Add.3: May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012

Report A/HRC/23/39/Add.2: March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013

Report A/HRC/26/29/Add.1: March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014

Report A/HRC/29/25/Add.3: March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015

Report A/HRC/32/36/Add.3: March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016

Report A/HRC/35/28/Add.4: March 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017