Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Tajik Police Tighten Up Disclosure Rules on Minors

By Orzu Karim











Tajikistan’s interior minister, Ramazon Rahimzoda, has ordered the identities of minors involved in crime to be kept confidential. This is a significant change to the rules, as state media have routinely shown video and still images of minors, both the suspects and victims in acts of violence.

Interior ministry spokesperson Mahbuba Gulovoy told IWPR that the minister issued new regulations after discussing the matter with Laylee Moshiri of the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF.

Until now the rule has been that minors can be named and shown, just with their eyes blanked out on screen. But that left them easily identifiable, and victims of violence were vulnerable to further harassment.

As human rights defender Fayzinisso Vohidova points out, suspects also deserve to have their identities protected. “Withholding his [a suspect’s] name in cases like these will benefit him, especially in his future life,” she said.

Vohidova argues that acceding to UNICEF’s recommendation makes sense even though Tajikistan does not have specific confidentiality legislation that could be applied.

Qayumarsi Ato is an IWPR contributor in Tajikistan.

This audio programme went out in Russian and Tajik on national radio stations in Tajikistan. It was produced under two IWPR projects: Empowering Media and Civil Society Activists to Support Democratic Reforms in Tajikistan, funded by the European Union; and the Human Rights Reporting, Confidence Building and Conflict Information Programme, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway.The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of IWPR and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of either the European Union or the Norwegian foreign ministry.