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In Memory of Lennard Meri

Meri was a great European man: Small nationalities and minorities have lost a brave advocate

Bolzano/Bozen, Göttingen, 15. March 2006

In Lennard Meri smaller European nationalities lose a generous friend and a brave advocate of their human and minority rights, as Tilman Zülch, President of the Society for Threatened Peoples International, points out. He praised the deceased former President of Estonia as a "great European man, who distinguished himself by his enormous sensibility towards the fate of marginalized and threatened minorities". Meri himself had been deported to Siberia under the Stalin regime as a result of standing up for the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; nations that were then under Soviet rule. He acknowledged the contribution of the Baltic Germans to the culture of his country and did not turn away in the face of the agony experienced by German displaced persons.

The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) is an international human rights organisation in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and in participatory status with the Council of Europe. The Society for Threatened Peoples stands up for the rights of threatened and persecuted ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities and indigenous groups, and battles genocide, displacement, oppression, and persecution.

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