“We oppose the adoption of this law!” – Activists respond to the MIA proposal on the Internet

POLITICS 14:45 / 20.01.2024 10748
Some sensational cases that took place with the participation of MIA officers and the video of which was circulated

In Uzbekistan, the draft law, which envisages setting a penalty for discrediting photos and videos of law enforcement officials on the Internet, was discussed in the Senate Defense and Security Committee with the participation of public representatives – journalists and bloggers.

After the details of this discussion were published in the mass media, the bill was criticized by social media users. Kun.uz collected some of them.

“After the passing of such a law, the people will not really trust the police officers. I feel sorry for the future of the nation,” one of the users wrote.

A user named Farhod Matnazarov expressed his opposition to the adoption of this law and stated that it is ignorance.

“Rather than issuing a law to protect the reputation, a law is needed to increase the actions that increase the reputation” – Samandar Kurbanov.

“Such a law should never be passed! This is a clear threat to openness” – Fozilbek Oripov.

“I retired from the DIA. If this law is passed, most of the citizens will die. I am against” – Akrom Ochilov.

“Those who forcefully protect the law, you will see that you made a serious mistake in time. This law also does injustice to your loved ones. It is a more serious mistake for employees of the internal affairs bodies to make a decision on the case when they are victims. It is foolish to believe that the prosecutor’s office will provide control” – Sodiqjon Berdialiyev.

“Let the MIA officers work legally, then that officer will not be afraid of any camera. This law is being developed to hide their illegal actions” – Usar Murodov.

“They do not harm themselves, because employees of the body work with each other. As a result, they take the sides of each other. If employees of the body want to gain the reputation and respect of the people, they must perform their services within the framework of the law and based on the regulations. For this, raise the salaries of employees of the body” – Umid Khoshimov.

“It seems that a special Article is being added to the law enforcement agencies. Why should the ministries of health and education be excluded?! Why shouldn't employees be videotaped and put on the Internet, teachers and doctors, and representatives of other fields can be done like that? Or do we have only law enforcement agencies that are reputable? Are the rest of the fields not worth a dime?” – Azizbek Sotvoldiyev.

“If you love yourselves so much, love the people as well. What if you are filmed? Your guilt will be known. Be a little ashamed. Rather, do your duty conscientiously according to the law, no one will say anything, on the contrary, they will thank you” – Nodir Matyokubov.

For information, the law does not prohibit photographing or videotaping of law enforcement officers, the liability imposed applies to the distribution of these images on the Internet with the aim of discrediting them. Questions remain open regarding how to clarify the purpose of the citizen’s distribution of the images, that is, what is the basis for accusing the citizen of “spreading with the purpose of defamation”.

Activists were accused of expressing opinions without reading the law. Where should they read the law?

Blogger Khushnudbek Khudoyberdiyev also touched on the discussion of the law and asked its initiators whether it is possible to practice openness instead of blaming the people.

“A meeting dedicated to the law on not distributing videos and photos of employees of the body was held in the Senate today.

First of all, it was good that such a meeting took place. Thanks a lot to whoever took the initiative. Those responsible for such situations, which caused public dissatisfaction, should find answers and explanations through open communication. That is, it is necessary to show everything to the people.

At the beginning of the meeting, misleading information was given that this law should be adopted due to the high number of accidents and deaths on our roads. However, accidents and deaths have nothing to do with the law that prohibits the posting of photos and videos of employees of the challenged body on the Internet!

In general, the content of today’s meeting in the Senate seemed to be organized more to defend the law, emphasize its correctness and, most interestingly, give a kick to journalists and bloggers. There are journalists and bloggers who have asked questions, and almost all of them have been scolded by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense and Security Affairs. The questions were not answered in detail with clear evidence and facts, they were limited to saying empty words. Some questions remained completely unanswered. The following have been continuously repeated: “You don’t understand, you don’t know, what you are saying, don’t say that, don’t say that, you don’t have the right to say that”. So, a lot can be said about the great meeting, but I want to draw your attention to the most important part.

Officials and invited experts said that most of the people are criticizing this law passed by the Legislative Chamber without reading and understanding, and they objected to some bloggers in particular. Professors from law schools in particular were very active in their endorsement of the law, and more than 90% accused people of writing the law without reading it.

I have another question for those who accuse the public of not understanding and not reading. Where do citizens see the draft law and how do they familiarize themselves with it? Does the Legislature publish the laws it passes? No! Does the Senate publish the texts of the legislation it is considering or even approves? No! Or did the Ministry of Internal Affairs announce the text of this adopted law? No!

Just as the goldfish in the pond in Abdulla Oripov’s poem knows that this pond is the whole world, the respected professors who accuse the public of not understanding, think that 36 million Uzbeks have the same opportunity because they read the law as an expert. Unfortunately, it is not like that. The people do not have such an opportunity.

The public cannot find the text of the law anywhere (with the exception of one or two very important laws) until it is officially promulgated. When is the opening time for the parliament? Before filling our mouths and blaming the people, maybe we should start giving enough information ourselves,” Khushnudbek Khudoyberdiyev wrote.

“Movements towards closed mode are at their peak”

Adviser to the Minister of Ecology Rasul Kusherbayev called the attempt to adopt the law absurd.

“Yesterday, a meeting was held in the Senate with the participation of public representatives regarding the law, which is certain to be adopted, on not taking photos and videos of MIA employees and not distributing them on the Internet. At the meeting, the former head of the MIA Department, and now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense and Security, K. Burkhonov, defended this law and scolded journalists and bloggers criticizing the law.

This signal was clear to many: the movement towards closed mode is at its peak.

Therefore, in order to ensure the continuation of the absurdity, I propose to apply the same law to environmentalists!

Please: pedagogues, cadastral workers, and healthcare should demand the introduction of such a law in their field,” the former deputy said.

It should be recalled that the law stipulates a fine of 50 BCAs (17 million soums) or 15-day administrative imprisonment for circulating photos and videos of law enforcement officers on the Internet in order to discredit them.

Public activists, as well as the Anti-Corruption Agency and the nationwide movement “Yuksalish” assessed this norm as contrary to the policy of openness.

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