Civic activists of Kyrgyzstan suggest returning the death penalty. They started this initiative after the shocking case of a two-year boy who was physically abused by a close relative. The petition, signed by citizens who actively throughout the country, speaks of the need to amend the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic and the return of capital punishment or to introduce chemical castration of convicted pedophiles.
24.kg news agency asked respondents whether they support the initiative of civic activists and why.
Dastan Bekeshev, deputy of the parliament:
- I will answer as a lawyer: the Constitution abolished the death penalty; it can't be changed till 2020. Only then we can think about it on the basis of what kind of courts and investigation we will have. Life imprisonment without parole - would be fairer. Such criminals will get off with a scratch by the death penalty. In fact, life imprisonment - more than severe punishment to man realized that he had committed the gravest act of his life, felt the uncomfortable in captivity, especially under the present conditions in closed institutions.
Elena Voronina, teacher:
- It is impossible to look at the photo of beaten, tortured, raped two-year old baby without tears and heartache. The number of child abuse cases in our country is growing. And no arguments will justify a criminal. And it is foolish to stand in the position of a moratorium against the death penalty, when there are all the facts of the monstrous abuse of a child. Criminals in the same prison community hate pedophiles. So why do we have to think about humanity and human rights, when it comes to non-humans? I support the death penalty for them.
Aleksey Petrushevsky, director of the Center for rehabilitation of homeless children:
- I support it, especially for severe cases. Well, okay if a man stole something. But when he breaks someone's life? Roughly speaking, a child was killed. Yes, the baby can be treated, adapted, but the trauma will remain. The soul is broken. The child will be on drugs all his life, and the state should pay benefits. It is good if there is someone to look after the child. But once he will grow up and left alone.
Another question - justice. The guilt of a person should be completely proved.
Mirlan Medetov, lawyer of the Association of Children's non-profit organizations:
- In general, I think that the responsibility for the crimes committed against minors may be revised in the direction of tightening. But as for the death penalty it is necessary to carry out extensive discussions. In addition to the desires of the citizens, there are also some legal issues that also need to be taken into account. Especially as members of the international community we have signed that we won't impose the death penalty. And now it is difficult to say: everyone understands that, in accordance with the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic it is prohibited.
Gulshaiyr Abdirasulova, consultant for Human Rights:
- It is necessary to take into account other aspects - how, for example, independent are our investigation, the judiciary. What will be the term for a really guilty person. Today, even top echelons of power say that Kyrgyzstan has cases of tortures and facts when innocent people give confessions under torture. How to be in this case? If we had a law-based state with an independent judiciary, independent investigative and supervisory bodies, which we have today, there wouldn't be such cases.
Yes, the number of crimes - in particular with regard to sexual inviolability of minors - is growing from year to year. But not because of the fact that the courts are fair and independent, but because of impunity. May one should try to complete the initiated reforms? In order courts to be punished for every bribe, to the investigating authorities, who torture, also were responsible. Today there is no case on tortures. No one is responsible. If all of this will work, the crime, including juvenile, definitely will decrease. Because a person will know: he won't be able to pay off or to shuffle off his blame, and in any case will be punished. We swing from one extreme to another all the time. And if an innocent will be condemned to death? What's to be done? Let's think about that, too, without making premature conclusions.
Alexander Zelichenko, retired police colonel, conflict expert:
-It is a bit wrong to raise a separate question about return of the death penalty for pedophiles. After all, serial killers and maniacs are no better. It is necessary to raise the issue of return of the institute of death position as a whole.
I am speaking from the position of resident and do not want criminals to die, because I am not a violent person. For me it is very important not to see and hear anything about a person, who committed a serious crime. I want him to get out of my sight. If the state is able to provide it, then I do not need the death penalty. But in our case it turns out that this state can not ensure it. Escape, reduction of term and even "writing off" due to illness - those who were sentenced to 20 years, are released after three years.
-However, given the current state of the judicial system and its corruptness, in fact innocent can be executed as well...
-We have the highest number of those sentenced to life imprisonment in the CIS. If we take a ratio per 100 thousand of the population, then the Kyrgyz Republic has at times more than Russia and Tajikistan. It turns out that judges invoke life sentences in a row, since there is no death penalty. They are afraid of even 20 years in prison, because there is no guarantee that after a short time he will be released. And parole and amnesty aren't applied to "lifers". The emphasis should be made on how the state can provide social protection of its citizens, without introducing the death penalty.
Gladys Temirchieva, the representative of the Center for Child Protection:
-Difficult question. Of course, we could express and support our own desires on emotions: we are parents as well, and we fear for our children. But we also need to understand that this is not right, it is not the way out. And we live in a legal state. Of course, it is necessary to toughen punishment. However, the fact is that even now the current legislation does not work. A man, who raped a minor, receives a life sentence. But even now it is not carried out.
All hush-hush, as a rule, relatives cover them, do not want to stand on the court and the public discussion. Many cases even don't reach the court, and if they reach, the perpetrators remain unpunished. There was a case of a 9-year-old boy, when his madrasa teacher raped him. But because of corruption of judges pedophile is unpunished. He was found insane, and the child became disabled.
Whether the death penalty must be introduced or not? This is a question that requires discussion and consultation with the public, civil society, government, perhaps the international community.
Mirlan Zheenchoroev, the deputy of Bishkek City Council:
-Personally, I support. There must be an adequate punishment for their actions. The offender must know that if he deprived someone of life, and he will be deprived of it as well. The man who killed young children, young girls, have no place in our society. Punitive measure should be determined by referendum. But if the death penalty is introduced, then at least two years for suspension of execution in order not to hurt the innocent.
At the same time we should not discuss each case on impulse, it is necessary to carry out preventive measures to strengthen financial, moral and human aspects of those services that deal with children issues (under the Ministry of Social Development, Juvenile Inspection).
Umutay Dauletova, civic activist:
-Chemical castration - is not physical cutting off penis (as many think), but introduction of hormones that are reversible. They act only for a while - three or four months and are very expensive. By the way, you can go to pharmacy, take testosterone, and everything returns to normal. Our state can not provide means for raped children, and you want it to entrust the Ministry of Health with the obligation to buy medicines for pedophiles. By the way, psychologists, social workers should control them, as it is also more cost.
The most effective work is prevention. The highest measure? I do not believe in justice, that's all.