Russia locks up the Children

Global Voices reports:

On April 20, it was announced that President Dmitry Medvedev approved the changes to children’s rights law, allowing regional authorities to bar minors under the age of 18, unaccompanied by parents or legal guardians, from public places – “for example, in the street, stadiums, parks, squares, public transport and Internet cafes” – from 10 PM to 6 AM. Below is one of the reactions (RUS) from the Russian blogosphere, by LJ user oleg_kozyrev:

Medvedev and the children

The president sincerely believes that the day after the 18th birthday is the first day when a young person can venture outside after 10 PM.

That is, tomorrow is already time for him to be drafted into the army, to defend the country, to be trusted with tanks and rockets, but a week before that, he was not yet trusted with stepping beyond the threshold of his house after 10 PM. And this concerns all children – those from the villages, and those on vacation, and students, and those who attend music schools and chess classes, and those who are out in the field trip to make a fire and bake potatoes, and those who are into astronomy and are outdoors with a neighbor friend and with a telescope, observing the stars – all of them.

It’s actually an incredible joke. IN THE TIME OF PEACE, THEY’VE INTRODUCED CURFEW FOR ALL RUSSIA’S YOUNG PEOPLE.

High crime rates? Fire [minister of the interior Rashid Nurgaliyev]. What do the young people have to do with it?

IF THE PRESIDENT CAN’T SECURE ORDER IN THE STREETS AND INTRODUCES CURFEW AS A SOLUTION – IT’S WORTH FOR SUCH A PRESIDENT TO CONSIDER A DIFFERENT JOB

[…]

Below are some of the comments to this post:

georg_pik:

A person can get access to classified information at the age of 17 (many students need to have such access by the first year of their studies). It means that a first-year student with access to documents that constitute state secret do not have the right to go out into the street after 10 PM.

***

phillennium

And what if it’s a first-year student at the evening department, where the last class may end, for example, at 9:50 PM.

***

oleg_kozyrev:

I don’t know what world the politicians who adopted this law are living in. Must be some unreal world, in which young people don’t work, don’t study – don’t live.

***

komsomolka_new

Maybe they’d prefer to do without young people at all. Retired people are more active at voting. And they usually ask the election commission at the polling station who to vote for.

***

Anonymous:

There is one thing – the most important one – missing from this law: the way it is in civilized Europe – all food stores (especially including those that sell alcohol) work till 3 PM on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays!!! [This should be introduced] all over Russia!!

***

lev_evgenevi4:

All is okay – this is just another law that is not going to be observed until a cop suddenly wants some money.

At least three of LJ user oleg_kozyrev‘s readers mention Denis Yevsyukov, a Moscow police officer who shot three people to death and wounded six in a supermarket on April 20, the day he turned 32:

m_holodkowski:

That’s right! Who needs to take walks at night when there are Yevsyukovs with bandit guns all around! ;)

***

miecz_kaina:

This is a preventive measure, to keep the police from shooting those who haven’t reached the age of 18 after 10 PM.

***

alrihard:

Kids provoke Yevsyukovs. A drunk cop would enter a supermarket in the evening/at night to buy vodka, his wife […] hasn’t given it to him yet, and here are all those happy young boys and girls…

Following Major Yevsyukov’s shooting spree, president Medvedev sacked Colonel-General Vladimir Pronin, Moscow’s police chief since 2001.

6 responses to “Russia locks up the Children

  1. Most of the year in DC it’s the same thing except curfew starts at 11pm.

    http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,Q,547375,mpdcNav_GID,1549,mpdcNav,|,.asp#law

    Washington is not the only city to have youth curfew laws.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    You’re missing the point in a rather obtuse way. Washington doesn’t have a history of decades of totalitarianism followed by collapse. It has vibrant opposition political parties and journalists.

    What’s more, if you think two wrongs make a right, you need some basic ethics training.

    Are you able to argue that locking down kids is a good thing for Russia? If so, you sure didn’t try. Very lazy thinking.

    • mlp, your link goes nowhere, so what exactly is the present DC curfew law? Oh, and, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago imposed curfews based on the horrific youth homicide rates for brief periods for the same reasons. In no American city were curfews imposed for political motives to shut down the dissenting opposition.

      So how about giving us the current curfew status, the reasons for the curfews, the court rulings that overturned them or are you just too damn lazy to do that.

      The police motives are very different in American cities than under Putin’s Russia, but, then you know that.

      • Actually, there’s a LOT of petty crime in Russia by children.

        From the Law Library of Congress:

        Protection of children’s rights is a serious problem for Russia, particularly because of the worsening demographic situation and progressive involvement of youngsters in criminal and other underground activities.
        http://www.loc.gov/law/help/child-rights/russia.php

        It’s a long paper, but quite informative.

  2. All the forgotten one thing. Teenagers can not appear after 10 pm without being accompanied by an adult.

  3. This is the correct link.

    mlp, there are plenty of differences. First, as you mention, the time (10pm – 6am in Russia; 11pm-6am or midnight-6am in DC). Second, as you don’t mention, the age (18 in Russia, 17 in DC).

    Third, and most important, Russian law gives police complete cart-blanche; and Russian traffic police is considered the most corrupt division of Russian police (and it says a lot). DC law specifically exempts Exercise their First Amendment rights protected by the US Constitution, including the free exercise of speech, religion, and right of assembly. Do you think such exemption exists in Russian law?

  4. “in the street”

    So, what about millions of Russian street children?

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