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№ 20 (64) October 2007
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on       journal [PDF]:
Oleg Panfilov,
project Manager,

Dmitry Alyaev,
chief editor,

Roman Zyuzin,
webmaster [at] cjes.ru

Adil Dzhalilov,

a diamond stylus,

Nargis Zokirova,
zokirova77 [at] mail.ru

Representative Names
in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
not disclosed

Lyudmila Burenkova,
technical editor,
lyuda [at] cjes.ru

Elena Dorokhova,
Eyes and ears of morality
Nargis Zokirova (Dushanbe)
For the past few years, a kind of “morals police” has been actively working in the city of Dushanbe and in other major cities of the republic, which has assumed the function of monitoring order in public places. Many young people, in particular, couples, bypass various parks and squares, because it is here, often, that police or patrol service officers approach them with the requirement to explain - “what are they doing here”. In the event of a dispute, young people are threatened with being taken to the police department and parents are informed about their depraved actions. In turn, the young men are trying to resolve the problem on the spot, offering to pay the so-called "fine". In other cases, couples are delivered to the police department, where they are required to write an explanatory note that would indicate what they were doing. As young people themselves say, most often all this is accompanied by rude words and an insult to the detainees.

As practice shows, not only parks and squares, but also saunas and baths, where they also tactlessly and unreasonably rush in, are taken under the scrutiny of police officers and take visitors to the police department to clarify the circumstances and write explanatory notes.

So, on August 9, at about 2 pm, a resident of the city of Dushanbe, Rustam Sharipov, together with his wife, visited a bathhouse located in 63 microdistricts of the city of Dushanbe. Having officially taken the room, the couple went into the steam room. After 30 minutes, they began to knock on the door. Rustam Sharipov opened the door, behind which there were two young men in civilian clothes. They began to ask rather rudely about who the man is in the room with.

“I tried to explain to them that this is my legal spouse, with whom I have been living for more than 25 years. Then they told me that they were police officers and forced my wife and I to leave the steam room and go to the department. They began to demand my documents, to which I replied that I did not carry my documents in the bathhouse and offered to go to my house, which is located 500-600 meters from the bathhouse. They promised that they would come to my house, but, having deceived and not warning, they took me and my wife to the Interior Department of the Firdavsi district. There my wife and I took explanatory. After that, they let us go, but every day someone calls from the ATS and asks us to bring our marriage certificate and copies of passports, ”says Rustam Sharipov.

In conclusion of his story, Sharipov added: “The most annoying thing was that I asked for the opportunity to call, but from the side of the police officers I heard ridicule and offensive expressions that humiliated me and my spouse. Since they, by their actions in the bath, gathered the people, and all this was happening in a very humiliating form. I was never explained why I was detained and why I wrote explanatory letters, which stated that we have been spouses for more than 25 years and nothing more. ”

In Sughd, in particular, in the resort town of Kairakkume, there is also a trend when law enforcement officers carefully monitor the relationship between couples. Thus, the newspaper Leninabadskaya Pravda (No. 61 (15519) of August 1, 07) states: “According to local residents, the law enforcement agencies of Kairakkum went further than their colleagues from other cities and districts of Sogd oblast in the fight against crime. Here they created a kind of "morality police", which tracks the relationship between the two sexes in society.

The new division is working at a stronghold near the barrier that blocks the road leading to numerous camp sites and rest homes located on the shores of the Kairakkum reservoir.

When inspecting passing cars, policemen are most interested in not the trunk, they are staring intently at the faces of the men and women in the cabin to determine who is who is who. If necessary, they are called separately from the car, apparently for closer acquaintance. Questions of a professional type: “Where do you work? Who is this woman (man)? What is your relationship with her (with him)? Is there a husband (wife)? And for what purpose are you going here? ”It is proposed to even call the phone numbers and inform family members about the whereabouts of those who have gathered to rest.”

I will also add that taxi drivers, even Khujand, when taking customers to take them to the beach, negotiate the cost of travel in advance, taking into account the intersection of this post. And the rate is known in advance for taxi drivers.

Analyzing the above situations, the question arises: to what extent are the actions of law enforcement officers lawful and is this not a direct interference with the privacy of citizens, which is enshrined in the Constitution of the country? For a comment, we turned to the lawyer of the Republican Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law Madina Usmanova. Here is what she said: issues related to the interference with the personal life of citizens by representatives of state bodies have recently been discussed quite often among the public. I often hear outrage at the fact that police representatives can freely approach young people who are standing outside, sitting in a park or in a cafe, demanding documents, or being taken to the police station. Moreover, all these actions are accompanied by insults. Let's look at these issues from a human rights perspective. The right to privacy is one of the most important civil rights of a person. Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy ... unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or such attacks. ” Thus, there should be a law that empowers police representatives to detain people, take them to the police station, check personal documents, and demand that they write explanatory documents. If the law does not provide for these powers, there is arbitrariness on the part of the police. For such actions, representatives of state bodies provide for liability in accordance with Tajik laws.

According to Usmanova, people who have suffered from such arbitrariness of police officers can file a complaint with a higher-level subordination body of the police or the prosecutor’s office and receive a written response to the complaint.

If the results of the consideration of the complaint did not satisfy the citizen or did not receive a response to the complaint, then he has the right to appeal to the court with a complaint about the unlawful actions of an official infringing his rights.

In addition, citizens who consider themselves humiliated and morally affected by the actions of representatives of the "morality police" are entitled to go to court in civil law with a claim for compensation for moral damage caused by the rude and unethical behavior of police officers.

From the author:

Of course, Tajik society is quite traditional. In our society, concepts such as chastity and morality are very high. Perhaps, by their actions, representatives of law enforcement agencies are trying to prevent "immoral behavior" in society. The protection of morality is a reason for restricting human rights. However, they must be reasonable, prescribed by law, and necessary in a democratic society.
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Sad but true. We are simply not worthy of their land. Do we need a precedent? Without it, we cannot go anywhere, we cannot even do anything. It is necessary to wait until someone sues and puts in the place of citizens in uniform and caps. And what, we are extreme or what?
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