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In Estonia, an act of terrorism is a criminal offence that is prohibited in the Criminal Code. Terrorism is defined as a set of predicate offences committed to terrorize the population or seek to compel conduct by the government. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. 

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Estonia's Criminal Code defines and prohibits acts of terrorism in a section entitled "offences against the State power" as follows: 

Commission of a criminal offence against international security, against the person or the environment while posing a threat to life or health, against foreign states or international organisations, or of a criminal offence dangerous to the public, or manufacture, distribution or use of prohibited weapons, illegal seizure, damaging or destruction of property of a significant value, or interference with computer data or hindrance of functioning of computer systems as well as threatening with commission of such acts, if committed with the purpose of forcing the State or an international organisation to perform an act or omission, or seriously interfering with or destroying the political, constitutional, economic or social structure of the State, or seriously interfering with or destroying the operation of an international organisation, or seriously terrorising the population.S. 237, Criminal Code of Estonia.


Membership of a terrorist organization

Section 2371 of the Criminal Code contains provisions concerning membership in terrorist organizations, which concerns a permanent organization consisting of three or more persons whose activities are directed at the commission of terrorism offences.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties

Estonia is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention Signatory

In adhering to the  1999 Terrorist Financing Convention, Estonia declared that the declaration by Syria at the time of its accession to the Convention exempting  acts of resistance to foreign occupation was contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention, "namely the suppression of the financing of terrorist acts, irrespective of where they take place or who carries them out".


Estonia is also a State Party to most of the regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism Signatory

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The general punishment for a terrorist act is imprisonment for between five and twenty years but life imprisonment is foreseen for certain offences.Section 237(1), Criminal Code of Estonia.Section 237.1 of the Penal Code provides for membership in a terrorist organizations as well as forming, directing or recruiting members to such organization to be punishable by five to fifteen years’ imprisonment but may also rise to life imprisonment.

Organising or receiving training or recruiting persons and preparation of terrorist acts in another manner as well as public incitement for the commission of a terrorist act is punishable by two to ten years’ imprisonment.Section 237.2, Criminal Code of Estonia.The financing of terrorist acts or terrorist organizations is similarly punishable by two to ten years’ imprisonment.Section 237.3, Criminal Code of Estonia.

Travel for terrorist purposes regardless of the nationality or State of residence of the perpetrator is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.Section 237.5, Criminal Code of Estonia.

Terrorist offences may be comitted by legal persons (companies) as well as natural persons.Section 237(1), Criminal Code of Estonia.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Estonian Internal Security Service (KAPO) is tasked with fighting terrorism. Estonia also has a dedicated special unit in its national police, K-Commando (K-Komando), which is employed for counterterrorism operations.

In 2022, Estonia declared that the Wagner Group, a Russian military company operating in Ukraine, was a terrorist organization.


Penal Code of Estonia (official English version)

Penal Code of Estonia (original version)