Let’s live together in friendship
“Interaction of Ethnic Associations and the Police”
From April 1st till 3rd the Center for Interethnic Cooperation carried out the training: “Interaction of Ethnic Associations and Police” in the “Kolontayev” Pension near Moscow. The training took place in the framework of the project: “Ethnic Minorities and their Access to Justice”, subsidized by the European Union. The Center for Interethnic Cooperation together with their partners from “European Dialogue” (London) and Roma Ural (Ekaterinburg) already carried out the same trainings in Ekaterinburg and Samara. They succeeded in these cities and produced a lot of noice. But in Moscow, as we know the state inside the state, special efforts and measures were necessary for us, in order to not fail in the capital of the country. Nevertheless prior to the training we already had some relapse. Not many out of the numerous invited representative authorities from the federal and city level were able (or wanted) to be part of the training. To compare this we should mention, that in Ekaterinburg the representative for Human Rights Tatyana Merzlyakova, and in Samara the main specialist in the department for interaction with public associations of the administration of the Samara region Nadyeshda Osipova, not only helped us to hold a good press conference, but also ensured the work of the journalists. In this way the communities of these cities were also abreast in our training. In Samara Nadyeshda Osipova directly helped inviting heads of ethnic associations. Even in the Krasnodar territory, which our legal advisor thought to be the most problematic in terms of tolerance against ethnic minorities and migrants, at our seminars and trainings representatives of the local administration took part. In particular at our last seminar, which was carried out in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the chief of the department for interethnic relations managing the monitoring of the migratory process for the administration of the Krasnodar territory, as well as the chief of the department for interethnic relations and migration of the administration of Krasnodar and an employee of the commission for migratory control of this city took part.
In Moscow, where ethnic relations are not less complex, the authorities, following an old tradition think, that the work with ethnic communities is reduced to cultural and educational programs. Another subject is the central administrative board of the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD). The administration of Ekaterinburg, Samara and Moscow has provided its representative of the law enforcement bodies with participation. And the chief of 10 departments of the central administrative board - colonel Ivan Shushkevich – showed the most active participation at all three trainings. Under his management on March 31st at 18:00 o’clock 22 employees of the law enforcement bodies various services of the UVD of Moscow and the MVD of the Moscow area left from the building of the MVD by bus to the boarding house. Within an hour after them, another bus left from the office of the Center for Interethnic Ñooperation with heads of ethnic associations.
On the next day at 10:00 o’clock the training began in two different halls. The trainer of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation Victoriya Shukhat worked with the leaders of ethnic associations and the director of the Center Ashot Airepetyan worked with the employees of the law enforcement bodies. Furthermore specialists from Great Britain took part in the training, former police officer Chris Taylor, and as a representative of the NGO “Greewich Council for Racial Equality” from London, a native from Uganda William O’Keenu. They reported on the British experiences in the interaction between the police and ethnic communities and about practical decision-making in difficult situations. It is necessary to emphasize, that all of the British specialists are experts in their affairs. And especially the employees of the police and heads of law enforcement bodies were to a vast majority interested listeners to their statements. And, after a mutual consent, at any moment it was possible to interrupt in order to set questions. From time to time, the training turned into a discussion, which brought the best understanding of all the aspects to the participants, as the experts from Great Britain stated. But vivid speech, and numerous examples made the experiences of Chris and William even more interesting. It is again necessary to emphasize, that the employees of the Russian police learned a lot from Chris, and even during the breaks and inbetween the lectures the Russian colleagues gathered around Chris, wishing to ask him questions.
Ashot Airapetyan and Ivan Shushkevich periodically clearified through comparisons and made comments, which lead to a stimulation of new streams of questions. The range of questions and statements were very wide. For example, the police officers were interested to know, what rights the arrested persons in Great Britain hold, who appoints and removes police chiefs, who and how the work of the police is financed. The answers by the British experts were short and precise.
Not less interesting was the performance of Ivan Shushkevitch. His statement, that the police needs to be concerned about the citizens as partners and protect them, caused big uproar in both audiences. Being on duty in the service Ivan Cheslavovich went to a number of different countries in the world, worked with specialists from the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. Such a fine expert working in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) of Russia keeps up the hope, that sometime in Russia such as in Great Britain, the population will trust their law enforcement bodies much more, and from a retaliatory body, our police will turn into a body for the protection of the population.
Another participant at the training was the head of the: “European Initiative for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights” – office in Moscow, Gillermo Martinez. Let’s emphasize, that this program finances projects that lie in the framework of the past training in the “Kolontayev” pension. The presentation of Gillermo was devoted to questions – what programs exist for the development of democracy in the European Union, why they were interested in this particular project (“Ethnic Minorities and their Access to Justice”), about the amicable relations between the European Union and Russia etc. Gillermo spoke to the heads of the ethnic associations from Moscow as well as in front of the police employees. And in front of the second group he had to step up two times. One of the participants, a lieutenant colonel of the UVD of Moscow said, that through any time, it is necessary for the former Soviet Republics to be united. To this Ashot Airepetyan retorted, that nowadays this is not the reality, the standart of living, and the structures and authorities in these countries are very different and furthermore, the European Union had to spend a lot of years, until this became possible. Then somebody from the audience replied, that the enlargement of the European Union with 10 more countries would end in impoverishment and disintegration. Then Ashot offered to adress these questions to the representative of the European Union. Gillermo came forward again and assured the police employee, that with the European Union everything will be all right. He started talking about the living standart in Spain, where he comes from, which was once much lower than in Great Britain or Sweden. However, since then Spain has made a large step forward. Thus, in his words, the demographic catastrophe in the countries of the European Union has yet not been seen – Spanish still want to live in Spain, Germans in Germany and French in France. At the end of the first working day, Gillermo said to Ashot, that it is more than interesting to him, how moods vary inside the group of the current training. That it varies was even obvious to a not trained eye.
In Ekaterinburg, on the first day of the training one young lieutenant asked: “What is this training for”. At the training in Moscow the level and age of the participants from the law enforcement bodies were above that. Therfore such questions were not asked. But on the morning of April 1st, when Ashot Airepetyan opened the training, in the eyes of some participants was to be read: “So what news do you want to tell us”. As from the experience of the training in Ekaterinburg Ashot said, that at the end of the third day the attitude towards him and the training as a whole will be totally different.
In the evening of April 1st the Center for Interethnic Cooperation organized a sports program for the participants of the training. Some of the participants of the training – leaders of ethnic associations, from law enforcement bodies and guests from Great Britain were mixed and devided into two teams and played. In the beginning Volleyball and after that Basketball. Other participants preferred to play table tennis or went to the sauna. Some just went for a walk or into the quiet area of the pension. And it even snowed in the evening, which spoiled our mood. The boarding house was empty and except for us, there was actually nobody else.
On the second day the organisors of the training made some adjustments to the schedule. The representatives of Kazan Maruf Khadshiev and Levon Mukanyan performed in front of both audiences. It appears, that already for a long time in Kazan at the MVD of Tatarstan there is an advisory council with representatives of the police and heads of local ethnic associations. This council helps to deal with a lot of problems of ethnic minorities, that deserve to be put in front of the law enforcement bodies of the republic. It is necessary to note, that in this national republic the attitude towards ethnic minorities is considerably more friendly, than in other “pure Russian” regions. The reason is very simple. Relating to the overall scale in Russia, these people are the majority minority. The good relations with the local ethnic minorities demonstrates to the Russian majority, how tolerance works in this republic. But as the interests of the Russian majority actually represent the federal attitude, the authorities of the republic think, that it is possible to estimate the tolerance on the federal level as well.
Actually the participants representing Tatarstan were the ones infringing the rules of the training in Moscow. At this training only participants from Moscow and the Moscow region were to take part. The Center for Interethnic Cooperation took this step, because it became clear, that the experiences of the people from Tatarstan were very important. For example, when we talked about mechanisms of cooperation of the police of London with the local ethnic minorities, or at another time, when we dealt with the fact that in Moscow we can only dream about certain things, which already work out near by.
After the informative part of the training had ended, Ashot started the second and more practical part of the training. After his request the employees of law enforcement bodies had to verbally create a portrait of a “representative of an ethnic minority”. Each of the present represented, how they see these representatives of ethnic minorities, and Natalya, a young and sympathetic employee of the public police in the Moscow region, accurately draw on the board. Some participants a second or even third time brought up their definitions on the subject, of what after their opnion a “representative of an ethnic minority” looks like. It is to say, that some definitions were very rigid, or more precise, didn’t say anything. But afterall, the division during the first one and a half days in separate groups was an important strategic step. In a joint discussion these “portraits” would have hardly delighted the other party. For the sake of justice it is necessary to note, that the representatives of ethnic associations, which at this time draw portaits of “employess of the police”, were in their statements not less categorizing.
Furthermore Ashot with the employees of law enforcement bodies and Victoriya with the representatives of ethnic associations carried out a preferential voting. The participants of the training elected from the written down statements 3 that were most important to them. And as in the training in Ekaterinburg and Samara the results of the voting on the final list, were considerably softer than in the general list! Ashot rubbed his hands, just as a alchemist, who against all the others knew, how the matter would turn out.
He said, that these results were received in the past trainings as well.
- We find out, that we in a group are considerably more tolerant than on our own. Unfortunately in every day life we meet each other, of course, one to one, or in the streets, or in the offices. Furthermore we will communicate in the group and through the presence of experts, which are Chris, Ivan and William, we are even more indulgent against each other and tolerant. There still are some very surprising results, but about these I don’t want to talk. We will, when we unite the groups.
Afterwards following a request of Ashot the employess of law enforcement bodies broke up in 3 small groups. In their groups they determined, what in their opinion out of what was talked to them about by the experts from Great Britain and the representatives of ethnic associations from Kazan (or just issues from their understanding of the problems) should be applied in the cooperation with ethnic associations.
Look at what became the results of this group work.
Assume the Kazan case as a basic example (attraction of territorial authorities, UVD and the MVD).
Participation in joint programs for the development of tolerance and culture of all nationalities and ethnicities in the Russian Federation (religion, language, laws).
Formation of activities in the law and order system to serve diverse opinions, interests and in particularely the social-ethnic groups and the indigenous population. Formation of national politics in the view of the current legislation (and its timely change).
On the second day after lunch, the participants of two groups met in one room. The overall number of participants made up 45 people. Usually trainers prefer to work with a group of no more than 20 people. Therefore Ashot and Victoriya had not an easy job to handle. It began with a presentation. The participants of the training were devided into pairs: an employee of the police – a head of an ethnic association, that was the time, when they got to know each other. Afterwards everybody had to shortly present their partner. It became an entertainment presentation. Shapi Kaziev from the moscovian dagestanian center presented a police employee, as a true Caucasian, not able to hide her intellect and charm. Boris, mayor of the state police of Moscow, declared, that communicating with Elgar Mamedova, doctor and head of an Azerbaijanian youth organization, changed his relations with Azerbaijanians.
When Khurshid Khamrakulova was introduced, a beautiful, elegant, intelligent representative of the MGU and head of the moscovian tajikian center, Ashot asked her to leave the center of the room to him:
- Dear representatives of law enforcement bodies - said Ashot, - a view hours ago we created a description of a “representative of an ethnic minority” together. I deeply ask you, further, when you will think of Tajik, remember this remarkable woman.
After the presentation of the participants Victoriya started with the analysis of the portraits. Every group analysed a portrait made by another group. In the beginning the “portrait of a policeman” was examined, created by heads of ethnic associations. When Victoriya hang up the appropiate sheet at the board, silence spread in the room. Only a view minutes ago, policemen were experienced to heads of ethnic organizations as clever, intelligent and sympathetic people, and they in this way understood, that policemen are at all not, what the representatives thought of them. But now this kind if “portrait”……
Ashot broke the silence by declaring, that none of the comments on this portrait should be true. Simply every participant from the law enforcement bodies has to estimate “their” portrait on a five-point scale. It was necessary to work 10 years until late in the afternoon and sometimes until night with ethnic communities, to understand, what heads of ethnic associations experienced in this moment. And Ashot and Victoriya had no worries about this. They had gone through this in Ekaterinburg and were back then terribly surprised and very pleased with the results of the interrogation.
In Moscow the results were the same. There were police employees, that graded “2”, but now are a five. And during the course of the interrogation it was possible to see, how the faces of the heads of ethnic associations became less intense. They had already understood. There won’t be confrontation! And really the average estimation was “three” afterall. That’s why the employees of the law enforcement body haven’t been offended. Rather they had switched “portrait” with “satisfaction”. They don’t see themselves as ideal, and hence, they are ready for dialogue. It is not hard to guess, that the second “portrait” – “portrait of a policman” was a collection in average closer to a four. When the groups were together they were considerably more tolerant, then when they worked on their own. And at every new step the level of mutual understanding and respect rose. For that reason we don’t publish specific “portraits”, but much rather the results of the discussion so the basis on which they were created.
From this point the work followed the devise “let’s only talk about what unites us”. In the practical realization of this devise, after the request of the trainers, the participants of the training broke into 4 mixed groups and inbetween 20 minutes had to prepare definitions to the theme: “What unites us”. These are the results of the work.
WHAT UNITES US
1. Improved law & order
2. Universal values
3. Past & future
4. Striving for peace and harmony
5. Common ties to Russia
6. Fate of our children
2. Calm (interethnic peace)
3. Concern about the future of our loved ones
4. Russian language--language of interethnic society
5. Shared history of the USSR
6. Universal values
1. Region of mutual activity--Russia
2. Mutual goals, interests
3. All want to live in peace and harmony
4. Human rights
5. Historical striving for unity
6. Shared values, unity for all
2. Health of our loved ones and family wellbeing
3. Material security
4. Feeling safe and secure
5. To be indispensible
Thus ended the second workday. But such was the charm of the countryside training workshop, that after the working day, discussion of the problems under consideration carried over smoothly from the conference hall to the hotel rooms and alleys of the pensionne.
As a result, late in the evening a large group of participants gathered in the hall of the 4th floor of building 2, where the directors of ethnic organizations were staying. The guitar and talant of Vladimir Kutenovka, from the Moscow’s Gypsy national-cultural autonomy, came in handy here. The director of the Chuvashkoi organization, Vladimir Burmistrov, was able to assist him. Together, everyone sang (truly Russia) songs until two in the morning. To the guard who arrived to find out what all the singing on the fourth floor was about, some wit delared--“No need to call the police, they’re all here!”
The next day at 10 a.m., the conference hall was already full of participants. Chris and William continued their discussion about their experience of cooperation between the British police and ethnic minorites. After their presentation, Ashot and Victoriya took a survey of the participants titled, “What did you find interesting in the British experience?”
The results appear as follows:
INTEREST IN THE BRITISH EXPERIENCE:
1. A part of the police budget is granted to the needs of NGO’s
2. Acknowledged cooperation between the police and NGO’s
3. Capital police administration. 23 persons from ethnic NGO’s from every region.
4. Model of cooperation between NGO’s and police
-conclusion of individual agreements
-complex approach to problem solving
5. The London police see in NGO’s equal, responsible partners
6. Defense of the rights of all (residents)
7. Readiness of the London police to recognize their mistakes
8. Work experience of participants abroad
9. Training workshops are like a form of communication between the police and NGO’s
10. No need for the victim to prove that a crime had ethnic coloring
11. Victims’ statement is the basis of an investigation in view of a racial component
12. The presence in every region of a subdivision to deal with hate crimes
13. The wise use of NGO’s by police for:
a. preventing interethnic conflict
b. solving crimes
c. document collection
d. coolaboration in investigation
14. The presence of community at every level of the police department
15. The obligation in police procedures to consult community opinion
16. General social dissapproval of crimes committed on a racial basis
17. Periodic police reviews before the local community
18. Budget tied to quality of police work
19. Access of NGO’s to the police
20. Preparation for dealing with ethnic issues for police
21. State finance Committee and Councils on Racial Equality are equivalent resources
22. Every career begins with 2 years’ working directly with the community
23. Consideratio of religious special needs in police work
24. Police interest in ethnic diversity
Later, the participants of the conference divided into 5 mixed groups to develop project ideas about collaboration between law enforcement agencies and ethnic associations. During the course of the work, it became clear that several of the participants wanted to put forward their alternative proposals. One of these was proposed by Boris, and another by Shapi. This is how their proposals appeared:
1. An institution of representative NGO’s within the GUVD
2. The creation of an effective mechanism for the realization of an answer to the problems of
3. No more than 3 persons represented form all ethnic communities in OUVD and GUVD+PVS
and representatives of service MOB (4-5 persons)+PVS
4. Technical support + pay (individual share)
5. Report of representatives before a general assembly of GUVD and leadersof this assembly
6. Beginning of the project 1.5 months, total length of time 2 years
1. Coordination council within the Moscow government for the territorial administration
2. Providing of general order, protection of the rights of citizens and immigrants from varying
3. Representatives of authority, GUVD and ethnic associations
4. 50% Moscow government 50% Ethnic associations
5. Interethnic peace and harmony
1. Creation of an informational-consultation center according to the framework of GUVD, MVD,
and Moscow Interethnic Consultative Council (MICC)
2. Consultation, objective information of the population through mass media (Petrovka-38)
3. Coordination council + MICC
4. Budget + donation
5. Increase in tolerance within police force & society
6. Initiate project 2 months. Realization 3 years
2. Goal: Social and legal protection of persons working on development sites of Moscow and
-representatives, delegated by the NGO
- division servants
-departments of social protection and development
-ministry of taxes and collection
4. Human resources
a. creation of a coordination council: Burmistrov, V., Vostryakov, A.
6. Initiation of project 3 months. Permanent operation
7. Project goal: Tradeunion
WELCOME TO MOSCOW
(a tool for immigrants)
Author: Head editor of the publisher “Echo of the Caucasus” and “Messenger MICC), Shapi
Title: “Welcome to Moscow”
Goal: The goal of the project is the assistance of immigrants in social adaptation, clarifying city immigration policies, reducing the number of rights violations connected to the lack of accessable information about rights, assistance in observing legal conduct in residence and work registration in Moscow, unified defense and realization of civil, cultural, educational, and other rights and requirements of immigrants.
Additionally, the project must assist the formation of a positive general opinion of guests and immigrants in Moscow.
The project should: v
1. Put out a pocket guide for immigrants “Welcome to Moscow”, including information necessary to guests of the capital such as legal procedures, cultural norms, and detailed instructoions about documents, forms, adresses, telephones, maps, schema, and other useful related advice.
2. Free distribution of the guide in train stations, in places of immigrant labor, consulates, appropraite departments of the MVD and other locations (likewise to be disstributed in trains and in regions from where immigrants to Moscow depart).
- urban poster competition “Welcome to Moscow”
- placement of the posters in public places, educational institutions, shops, devisions of the Department for Internat Affairs etc. Distribution panel advertising on the basis of the best posters
- organising autobus exkursions for migrants
- creation of an informative internet-service for visitors in Moscow
- creation of a tv-spot as social advertising
MMKS (Moscow International Advisory Council to the Government of Moscow), profile administration MVD of the Russian Federation and GUVD Moscow (information and public relations, for the staff, is the migration section, passport and visa services and others), Committee for interregional relations and national politics of the government of Moscow, Publishing house “Caucasian Echo”.
Experience and material of MMKS, informational support through the MVD and other profile departments, studying the experiences form other countries (Great Britain), grant support, financial support through the government of Moscow, assistance from the Center of interethnic cooperation, opportunities and experience from the editorial staff of the publishing house “Caucasian Echo”.
Supposingly the realization of the project helps migrants in the realization of their lawfull intentions and needs, it will weaken interethnic pressure, result in an appricable reduction of the number of offences in connection with ignoring the law and the rights of migrants and in the inability to use them.
With the appropiate support, the basic part of the project can be realized during 3 months. The work on this project should begin as soon as possible.
The authors to the ideas have prefered figures in addition to their ideas, and for us there was no other option than placing them on this site as photos. We have again asked the participants for five-point scales to estimate these projects ideas. The interrogation showed, that obiously leaders and outsiders are not present. The maximum quantity was gained through the example given bei Shapi.
All together in one bus on April 3rd at 16:00 o’clock the participants of the training got back to Moscow. And again the way back seemed much shorter. Just because now the results of working together in groups showed off. Of course, this does not mean, that the police of Moscow will begin to work differently tomorrow. It is necessary to spend lots and lots of efforts, in order to change the relations between the police and ethnic minorities. But nevertheless, someone has to take the first step and prove to themselves and the others, that it is possible!
We took this first step, it was very successful, and we received a lot of help in this work through the central administrative board of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. We take the second step – a trip for three employees of the police and heads of ethnic associations to London to get familiar with the British reality. We take the third step – after this trip there will be a second training in Moscow for these participants. And there will be a fourth step – ethnic associations will receive around 9000 Rubles for the enforcement of a project that is devoted to interaction with the police. We hope, that as a result the GUVD Moscow and the UVD of the Moscow region together with the central administrative board, and the ethnic associations together with the Center for Interethnic Cooperation will take the initiative into their hands. Then there will be a new training. And the cooperation between the police and ethnic associations will become a common phenomenon.
As our bus approaches Moscow a car caught it up. The bus stopped. From the interiour of the car Boris and Pavel appear, employees of the GUVD Moscow. They carried a huge bouquet of roses and asked Ashot to distribute them the women participating in the training.
The women, as understandable, were delighted.