All and sundry block the roads in Kyrgyzstan. People block the routes for any occasion. And everywhere.
Once supporters of the arrested deputy Akhmatbek Keldibekov closed routes on the strategic Osh - Irkeshtam highway and more than two weeks actually froze all work in the area, the Parliament understood that it is necessary to do something.
The leader of Ata Meken faction Omurbek Tekebayev volunteered to deal with such troublemakers. He proposes to amend the Criminal Code and prosecute those blocking roads of strategic importance for more than 24 hours. 24.kg news agency decided to ask its respondents the question, where is the guarantee that the law will be applied without political overtones, double standards and selectivity.
Muzaffar Tursunov, the expert on politics:
-I think that this initiative, if grows till the law, won't work anyway. A question that you ask, about equal application to all subjects of the political field, is rather rhetorical one. In Kyrgyzstan, it really has become a tradition, all regulations, starting with the Constitution, are not implemented or enforced by half. It all depends on law enforcement policy, that is, who uses this or that law, also, respectively, treats it as he wants. In our country, even when the laws are adopted, often contradictions arise after their implementation at once. Of course, I am against blocking of roads, but I believe that, before performing with the proposal to prosecute for blocking routes, we need to bring order to the legal system; otherwise it will turn into another "witch hunt".
Omurbek Tekebayev, the leader of Ata Meken faction:
-Law in fact is the law that should be applied to all equally, without exception, and not selectively. We must not think that the proposal to prosecute those who violate public order and close the roads was voiced specifically for putting the supporters of Akhmatbek Keldibekov into prison. Before the law all are equal, of course, I can not answer for all the law enforcement system, and ensure that all offenders will be equally punished, but I would like to believe that there are won't be any double standards in the process of execution of this law.
Dastan Bekeshev, the Deputy of the Parliament:
-The Administrative Code already has an article, providing a penalty for violation of public order. This category includes the blocking of roads. We need to make this item operate. And only then criminalize. Such a measure is good at running and coordinated law legal system, otherwise, this initiative risks becoming another tool for implementation of persecution.
Kubat Umurzakov, the analyst:
-Kyrgyz legislation is generally accepted inconsistently. If there aren't any significant changes in this direction in the near future, all the good intentions will remain only on paper or will be used selectively.
Melis Turganbayev, the Head of Bishkek Main Department of Internal Affairs:
-Bringing to criminal responsibility for blocking of strategic lines - is a good idea. And whether it will be implemented, as its authors plan, depends on heads of police units on the ground. Bishkek also have individuals, who are trying to block the main streets because of dissatisfaction with these or other steps the authorities. So what? Police also prevents this. We first warn and then disperse. We carry them to the police department; prepare protocols, then the court, paying fines, everything as it should be within the law. The same things should be done in the regions. Generally our people need to understand that rallies and blocking of routes will get us nowhere. This is not the way out. There are investigative bodies, the courts, finally, and it determines - guilty or not guilty. But nobody has the right to press on the court. Especially, by such antisocial way. Criminal cases were initiated against me as well, but I did not bring my people and relatives to the streets, did not ask them to violate the order. And so, the law is good. I hope that it will work.
Lira Usubalieva, the Chairperson of the "People's Movement: lustration" Public Association:
-These are very good amendments and I fully support them. But I do not think that, even if they are approved, the document will work and someone will be punished. We adopt so many laws, but they are "dead". All just in words. In fact, no one really fight against offenders or corruptionists. Well, at least society isn't sleeping, controls the power. But we need to put forward our demands, without breaking the law. This is about blocking the roads and then it will be a good judge. Otherwise, it turns into blackmail.
Damira Dootalieva, the Chairperson of the Trade Unions Central Committee:
-Such a law will not work or there will be selectivity. As practice shows, we have written all the draft laws under certain persons. If this or that person is objectionable, uncomfortable, he can be sued. This is the wrong approach. We need to change the whole legal system.
Nurbek Toktakunov, the expert:
-Our law on peaceful assembly, actually, provides only for freedom of peaceful assembly, significantly not infringing freedoms of others and not threatening public safety. Blocking the strategic roads is an action, significantly threatening the legitimate interests of others and the interests of public safety, because it creates tension between people with a tendency towards violence. So the problem here is not the lack of relevant law, but failure of the authorities to act in accordance with the existing documents.