Bill on... porn is lively discussed in the parliament of Kyrgyzstan. The Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism proposes to create in Kyrgyzstan an interdepartmental commission of experts. Its members will view each film created by local studios or distributors brought from abroad, and to determine whether it is pornography.
As stated in the certificate-justification, the bill will "eliminate the existing contradictions in the legislation." Initiator recalls that Kyrgyzstan has rules "prohibiting include film scenes with pornographic content, as well as calling for a violent change of the constitutional order, violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity, promoting war, violence and cruelty, to incite any enmity, as well as rules on nationality or class discrimination, intolerance." Cultural officials, however, don't specify how the porn calls for violent change of the constitutional order or war and violence. Besides, it is not specified how an interdepartmental commission will regulate the Internet space.
"Recently, the question on watching pornography by minors is topical. Therefore, it is proposed to establish that the classification of audiovisual works to pornographic, and among other prohibited forms of creative activity should be made by the decision of the interdepartmental expert commission," the deputy head of the Ministry of Culture Muktanaly Bektenaliyev said.
24.kg news agency decided to ask respondents how they imagine the work of the Commission and if they would like to join it.
Marlen Salyanoi, a press secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism:
- This commission will be established on the basis of an order or our ministry or government regulation. While talking about who will go into its composition, it is premature. There is no regulation on the start of the commission's work. And if we talk about the features i.e. members of the commission designed to help staff in the department to combat cybercrime, as well as the department established under the Department of cinematography, inspect film products of domestic producers. And the Commission will also identify not only porno scenes, but episodes, which demonstrate the violence, blood or calls for overthrowing the constitutional order. Now there is a very large flow of the film industry, and to catch fish in troubled waters is quite difficult, but one can try. If, for example, forbidden to show scenes are flashed in these tapes, the members of the commission may order them to cut or not to allow releasing the film in wide release. Yes, it's a kind of censorship. But we have to protect our society and especially young people from the corrupting influence.
Rakhat Sulaimanov, official representative of the National Security Committee (GKNB):
- We don't know yet, at what level and how will this committee work. If the initiator - the Ministry of Culture, so it's up to them to determine who will participate. It is necessary to determine how important this part is of the national security strategy, and basing that, the meeting will determine who will be in the commission if management of department decides that it is important now. It is worth noting that there are other important issues that require the participation of the KGB.
- If you were suggested to join it, would you agree?
- Only if as a journalist or public man, I would have agreed. It's not that, I want to or not. In many developed countries, films undergo a preview, where it is determined whether they contain scenes of violence, cruelty, have no harm to psyche of the young generation. And that's normal. In Soviet times, all theaters and cinemas had editorial board, which viewed and decided on mass viewing. And it shouldn't be confused with censorship.
Felix Kulov, the leader of Ar-Namys parliamentary faction:
- It is necessary to restrict it, of course. If take our Constitution, there is clearly stated that the freedom of one ends where the freedom of another begins. Another thing is how to implement it in practice. Track and sort the available volume is quite difficult. But why not try to do this? The only necessary thing is to give a clear definition of what pornography is, in order members of the commission could better cope with their functions. It is unclear what will happen to foreign films, on what basis they will be eliminated and whether such selection cause precedent with copyright infringement. As for me, I wouldn't like to join this commission. What for? I have no free time. But as for the intimate scenes in modern tape or endless streams of blood, then I will say this: if it is the directing element to give the picture sharpness, then, frankly, it's annoying. These naked bodies, endless moans and sighs are annoying, honestly. There is no meaning. Furthermore, this is medical problem. The dominance of porn and erotica in virtual reality leads to lower potency and, as a consequence, to a decrease in birth rates.
Cholpon Sultanbekova, the Vice Speaker of the Parliament:
-What criteria are required for participation in this commission? Or they do not exist? I would take part there even offered. What a strange suggestion! How can I determine whether it is a pornographic episode or not? This is sex scene, naked body - what should it be? Now any film, even historic, has sex scenes. What should we do? Delete them? And then, how many films should we watch in order to select "necessary" and "unnecessary". It's just impossible to do. I think that all this will remain at the level of unsubstantiated initiatives.
Ilya Kamorover, sex therapist, psychiatrist:
-Such commission on determining what is porno and what erotic and what should be prohibited to show on big screen and what is not, has already been established in 1987. It was composed of yours truly. In addition, it was attended by a psychiatrist and psychologist. We approved the definition of porn and erotic by voting Erotic - acceptable to demonstrate in moral and ethical framework, adopted by society and porn - what is unacceptable. And showing of such episodes resulted in fine and, considerable for those days. Find materials of those years. And if you now create a commission, then it must also include psychiatrist and sexologist - in short, subject matter specialists. And it should act only under the auspices of the mayor's office, when it comes to Bishkek, but not under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture.
Kurmantai Abdiev, the MP from Ata-Zhurt faction:
-This commission should include only focused specialists. I'm opposed to Kyrgyz performers in videos or kissing in a movie, for example. It is uncustomary for us- towards senior. And about other nationalities, I'm not saying anything. Let Europeans, Russian watch these tapes, videos, and participate in them. Russian kiss at weddings, shouting "now kiss". And we, Kyrgyz, don't encourage such behavior. Well, we do not have this in our tradition, the Uzbeks as well.
Bakyt Torobaev, the MP:
-The ministry, without a doubt, can initiate creation of such commission. Another thing is how effectual it will be. I think that relevant agencies should monitor filmmaking, but not some kind of commission. If I am offered to join this group, I will think. If it is just a commission for show, then why do I need it? If they really want to somehow influence moral and ethical education of our youth, then I will support it, and will be ready to enter the composition. But I still believe that monitoring should be undertaken by the ministry, without shifting its functions to the commission. There is a moment: do not forget about censorship. We swing from one extreme to another. Officials themselves must talk to creative people and together regulate the work of this commission, to prescribe, what is considered to be porn and what is not.
Ulan Isakbekov, the Acting Head of the Department of Cinematography:
-The state has not been approved, so it is too early to say who will enter this composition and whether I'll participate there if offered. But I think that only those films that are shot on public money will "get a scolding" from the committee members. Since it is now problematic to "cut" private motion pictures. Firstly, it is around 90 percent of total distribution, and secondly, none of producers wants somebody get into his pocket and dictate what scene must be cut. When he finances a movie, he also hopes to get the money back. So if we introduce such control, it's totalitarian framework, it is necessary to adjust the constitution to its regulations.
Baktybek Amanbaev, the ombudsman of Kyrgyzstan:
- To take part in the commission?! No.
- I'm not an expert. But if you talk in terms of morality, education, ideology and protection of children - our future, then creation of this commission - right move. Self-respecting country would have done long ago. But organization of work of the commission - another question. It is necessary to develop a mechanism in order not create a censorship body.
By law - whether the ombudsman enters this commission or not - anyway we will participate for avoiding infringement of rights of citizens the Kyrgyz Republic.