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Your papers! And yours?


Autonomous non-profit organization “The Novorossiysk Committee for Human Rights”
Aramat Prutina

In Gelendzhik from 30th September to 3rd October 2004 a training seminar was carried out with an urgent topic: How to behave when policemen are controlling your documents? It was organized and carried out by The Novorossiysk Committee for Human Rights and the beneficent organization Frodo while being financed by the McArthur Foundation. The participants were members of ethnic communities from Krasnodar krai (region) like Turks-Meskhetins, Khemshils, Cormanch and Adygeans-Shapsugs, who are discriminated against during police controls, and journalists.

The organizers made special efforts to let the participants familiarize with each other, to create a trustful atmosphere and to bring the groups together for a further interaction in their work on legal protection. Therein the training distinguished itself from the last year’s one.

Working in pairs and playing the policeman’s role, the participants acquired the nuts and bolts of legal protection work. They had to create a dialogue between a policeman and a passer-by drawing attention to the first words. To the policeman’s question “Your documents!?”, the passer-by had to answer “And yours?!”. Later on, one of the participants, Tofik, shared his impressions with the others and told, how he felt in the policeman’s role. He said that the passer-by seemed to know his rights and if he would like to take a bribe from him, he thought: “Why can this well-informed man trick me like that?”

The seminar ended with a group work, which had to conceive a slogan or devise answering to the question: What do you have to remember before, while and after being controlled by the police. One group presented its slogan, which was thoroughly cut out of coloured paper: Know your rights!

In November a second training will be carried out, where the participants shall become familiar with the work with journalists. And on December 9th, the day before Human Rights Day, a conference will be held to address to the krai authorities.

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