Documentation problems are often a critical condition and vulnerability of sex workers to human rights violations and legal insecurity.
In 40% of cases reporting the detention of sex workers, which were recorded by REAct, the need for identification was voiced as a pretext for detention, since the victims of the violations did not have a passport of a citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan. According to clients, in three cases, the passport was confiscated by the police for the purpose of blackmail and extortion of money.
Milana (name changed) and four of her friends were detained by law enforcement agencies in the evening on the street in the *** area. During the detention, there were insults from the police. Since the girls did not have passports, they were taken to the police department to find out their identity. There they were kept until the morning and only in the morning were escorted to a skin care dispensary for testing for STIs and HIV. Only after passing tests a day later they were released.
The girls refuse to write a complaint against the employees of the police department for fear of persecution. The case was documented in REACT in August 2021 in Uzbekistan
It is important to note that officers of the internal affairs agencies do not have the right to take a passport from citizens, except when there are grounds to suspect that the passport is forged. Confiscation of a passport is an official offence and, where there are signs of extortion, an official offence. When the passport was confiscated by internal affairs officers, there were grounds for reporting the circumstances to the Prosecutor’s Office.
The client and two friends were detained in the evening **.06.2021 under the pretext of violating the curfew at 23:00 by a district police officer in the area *** on the street along the road, they were escorted to the district police station, where they wrote an explanatory note. The district police officer took the passports and kept them there for two hours and threatened to send them to the main department of Internal Affairs of the city of Tashkent, demanded money for the return of the passport and that they would be released. As a result, the girls had to pay off.
The girls refuse to write a complaint against the police department officers for fear of persecution. The case was documented in REACT in July 2021 in Uzbekistan.
A passport of a citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a residence permit in the Republic of Uzbekistan for a foreigner and a stateless person, as well as a new national driver’s license are identity documents in the Republic of Uzbekistan. There is no requirement in the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan to always carry identity documents with you. Moreover, the obligation of a citizen to carefully keep a passport can be interpreted as the obligation to keep a passport in a safe place, for example at home, and not always carry it with you.
The absence of documents from a person in itself is not an offense or a reason for delivery or detention. However, Article 17 of the Law on Internal Affairs No. LUR-40707 of September 16, 2016 empowers employees of the Department of Internal Affairs to check identity documents from citizens in the exercise of their official duties. Article 16 of the Law on Internal Affairs lists the broad responsibilities of police officers, including the duty to ensure the safety of citizens in public places and the prevention of crimes. St. 194 The Administrative Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan establishes the composition of an offense for failure to comply with the legal requirements of an employee of the internal affairs bodies to present documents for verification. Interpretation of Articles 16 and 17 of the Law on Internal Affairs, as well as Article 194 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan indicates that if a citizen has documents with him, he is obliged to present them to an employee of the Department of Internal Affairs.
If there is no ID, then there is no obligation to show the ID. However, in the event of suspicion of an offence, an officer of the Department of Internal Affairs may make an appearance or administrative detention for the purpose of drawing up a report and establishing identity. In this regard, it may be recommended to carry a new type of driving licence or at least a photocopy of a passport, if the permanent carrying of a passport in the opinion of a citizen is contrary to the obligation to keep a passport with care.
In two other cases, the lack of a passport (due to loss or theft) acts as a barrier to claim the rights and seek assistance from law enforcement authorities.