Shoot Me: What will law on police bring for Uzbekistan?

Uzbek police; photo: Elena Urlayeva (c)
Uzbek authorities are secretly trying to adopt a law on police. Will this law ease the lives of the country's citizens and will it work? These are the questions that have been discussed by Shoot Me experts.

This secret draft law was discussed by actor Dmitriy Rezepin, filmmaker Oleg Karpov and linguist Aleksey Ulko.

"We are going to have a law on police which is so classified that perhaps not every police officer would know about," Karpov suggested.

"What is most interesting, as far as I know, is no other country knows about a law on police," Rezepin said. "There are certain rights and obligations of police officers but specific laws are not publicised and this is acceptable."

"Well, if there is some draft law, then I would like to get involved in discussing it," Karpov said.

"Yes, otherwise it is like a joke: 'A question to experts: where is a base of SS-20 missiles located?' 'We do not know.' 'Correct, no-one should know where this base is'," Rezepin joked.

"My question is: didn't we have any law on police until now?" Ulko asked.

"No, there was only lawlessness by police," Karpov joked.

"I tell you frankly from my personal experience that I have very good relations with police," Rezepin said. "They like to party with actors."

"A new law was adopted this year: a fine for pedestrians crossing the road in a wrong place," the actor said. "Now imagine an old woman crossing the road with a crowd of grandchildren and a traffic patrol officer approaches her and tells her to pay a certain fine. Do you think it is realistic?"

"No, then the number of police should be trebled," Karpov said.

"Yes, I also believe Uzbek people should be educated not by fines but by increasing the police numbers," Rezepin said. "The opinion that we have more police than ordinary people is a nonsense. I believe people['s documents] should be checked when they use the underground."

"How can they check there?" Karpov asked. "I am always tempted to bet for this operation: I would take to the airport or the underground a huge bag mocking an explosive. And I can argue that with our fake security guards I would be able to do this, even though I am not a professional [criminal]. Our police are so numerous that they do nothing - they do not guard anyone from anything."

"If something happens, we will be looking for them because they hide so far away that no-one can find them," Karpov continued.

"When I was young one thief told me that a lock had been invented for honest people," Rezepin said. "This is what I believe - let this lock be symbolic but exist."

"As for the law, perhaps it is not linked to putting the activities of rank officers in order," Ulko said. "It may imply the re-subordination of the Interior Ministry to other structures, for example prosecutor's offices or SNB [National Security Service] will have more power over police."

"No but where else can we go?" Karpov asked. "Our Interior Ministry is already subordinated to the SNB - everyone knows that each police station has an official SNB representative."

"Generally, SNB representatives are everywhere and this is the necessity and it is right," Rezepin said. "Our state is at the stage of development and I believe the fact that we do not have [terrorist] explosions is their achievement."

"I have a different attitude to explosions: usually explosions all over the world not just in our country are carried out by security services," Karpov said. "At least they are always involved in them. All so-called terrorist organisations are always borne by security services."

"I am personally not aware of this information but there are simple notions that this is good and this is bad," Rezepin said. "For example, theft is bad."

"But people steal not because there are police or no police, it is a state of mind," Karpov said.

"Yes if a thief know that there are police nearby he would not go there," Rezepin said.

"No-one would rob a policeman's house," Karpov joked.

"He would not even go to a house next to a policeman's," the actor said.

"This means an officer should be attached to each house," Karpov joked.

"Interestingly, this law on police will change anything or does it aim to maintain the status quo?" Ulko asked.

"I believe rather the status quo, that means it aims to maintain some things they have got used to," Karpov believes. "For example, a presumption of innocence. In principle, this should have been stipulated in the legislation a long time ago."

"Preventive criminal law," Ulko said. "This means an arrest before committing a crime."

"Well, everyone always shout 'torture, torture'. As soon as torture will be recognised as our national mentality they would stop taking about it," Karpov suggested.

The details of the discussion of the future law on police and whether it will be adopted and in which form and whether it is that needed are in the latest issue of the joint video programme by the Shoot Me open society and

The programme is also available on Youtube.