Our partner AFEW International in partnership with the Police Academy of Tajikistan developed a brochure “The Rights of Detainees”. The new brochure will be distributed among 20 local non-governmental organizations working with people who use drugs, sex workers, former prisoners, people living with HIV, at-risk youth and vulnerable women.
The brochure describes the rights of detainees on a variety of aspects, including:
- to know the ground of their arrest;
- to seek legal help;
- to be released within a certain period of time;
- types of arrest and conditions under which a person may be arrested (if he is being suspected of having committed a crime, if there is a warrant of arrest issued by the judge or a decree issued by the criminal police)
Separate chapters describe the rights of detained women and minors. All provisions in the brochure refer to the existing laws of Tajikistan, including the Code of Criminal Procedure and the law “On police”.
Training Tajik police officers about HIV prevention and norms of rights for key populations
In Tajikistan just like in other Central Asian countries, key populations are often encountered by the law enforcement bodies. There have been reports that district police officers watch for people who use drugs, sex-workers and LGBT community members, extort money, intimidate or blackmail them to improve clearance rate or enjoy free services. Often police officers are unaware of existing HIV prevention programmes for key populations and lack basic knowledge of harm reduction services. Yet, on the higher levels of the Ministry of internal affairs there is a clear understanding of the need for and importance of HIV prevention programs and the ministry is willing to cooperate. Joint development of the training plan for district police officers is just one of the signs of it. The last series of trainings were held in March and June 2013 in Dushanbe and Sughd region, covering a total of 33 police officers. At the two trainings titled “HIV Prevention and Norms of Rights” police officers had a chance to meet with NGO representatives who told about what kind of activities they carry out, for whom and why this work is important. The same trainings are scheduled for police officers in Khatlon and Kulyab regions in July and August.
Knowing about your rights is crucial
A client of public organization “Buzurg” in Penjikent (Sughd region of Tajikistan) said:
“The Rights of Detainees” brochure is very informative and that it provides a good legal overview of rights and responsibilities of people and law enforcement bodies. I personally didn’t know that without the court’s decision one can’t be pledged guilty, and I had been accused by the police several times before.
He added that it would have been very useful if the brochure also featured a list of lawyers throughout Tajikistan who provide free legal support for key populations.
This year the new revised version will be printed in 1000 copies in Tajik and Russian languages. Last year AFEW printed 2000 copies.
Please find this brochure and all other brochures developed by AFEW within the Bridging the Gaps programme on their website.