Ten Years of the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act
The article describes the preparation of the draft of the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act, forming of the government committee dealing with the problems of the repressed people and the passing of the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act. The Act entered into force on 1 January 2004.
The main purpose of the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act was to alleviate the injustice caused to persons who were illegally repressed by the states that occupied Estonia from 16 June 1940 till 20 August 1991. The Act provided the definitions of unlawfully repressed person and occupying power, established the benefits, subsidies and pension rights extending to the unlawfully repressed persons and the persons considered equal with them, and the obligations of the Government to the repressed people. It is clear that the state of Estonia could not then and cannot now rectify the irreparable damage done by the occupying powers at the expense of the taxpayers. This was, is and will be the task of the occupying powers. Unfortunately the politicians have not had enough will, and maybe also courage to tackle this issue with the authorities of Russia and Germany. But through alleviating the suffering caused to its citizens, the state could and can express its political will in condemning the crimes committed by foreign powers. Naturally this law did not solve the problems of the repressed people. But it is possible to make the laws more considerate according to the real needs and changed possibilities, and it has to be done.