22:54 GMT +323 January 2019
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    Tallinn court sanctions arrest of protest leaders in statue row

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    An Estonian court has sanctioned the arrests of Russian speaking activists detained during mass protests in Tallinn against the removal of a Soviet monument, the Harju court press service said Saturday.

    TALLINN, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - An Estonian court has sanctioned the arrests of Russian speaking activists detained during mass protests in Tallinn against the removal of a Soviet monument, the Harju court press service said Saturday.

    Night Watch leaders Dmitry Linter and Maxim Reva, and Mark Siryk, an activist of the Siin youth movement, have been charged with organizing riots and face up to five years in jail.

    The last two nights saw violent clashes between protesters and police in Tallinn after the Soviet-era Bronze Soldier monument was dismantled and removed early Friday. As a result of the clashes in the central streets of Tallinn, one man aged 19-20 died, 60 were injured, and over 800 detained. The deceased was a Russian national.

    The monument commemorated Soviet soldiers who liberated the Baltic state from the Nazis but whom Estonian authorities consider occupants, and was also a resting place for 13 Soviet soldiers. Saturday reports by ETV network cited the Defense Ministry as saying that the exhumation of their bodies has started for subsequent reburial.

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