Dushanbe female blogger fined for insulting a man
The young man was harassing her on the street. Maniža Nazarova also had to spend five days in a cell. The authorities are not respecting commitments made to protect women from sexual harassment, a behavior rooted in Tajik men.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - Tajik police have fined 25-year-old blogger from Dushanbe, Maniža Nazarova, 420 somoni (about 40 euro) for insulting a man who was harassing her in the street, Radio Azattyk reports. The incident took place last December 3 in the capital of Tajikistan.
Nazarova recounted that while crossing the street, a stranger grabbed her by the hand. The girl asked him what he was doing, and the young man allegedly covered her with insults. Then she started filming him with her phone shouting at him out of fear and anger. The police considered the video to be offensive and issued a warning, then published the photo of Maniža on their website.
The blogger was summoned to the Firdousi district police station, where initially there was no talk of fines, but the policemen advised the young harasser to report her so that she could be punished. The officers detained Maniža in the cell for five days "for immoral actions".
Now Nazarova plans to appeal against the police. In her opinion, the policemen photographed her at the police station "for practice," promising not to show anyone the image, which then turned out to be public on the site with the notification of the fine.
"I was supposed to get married in a month," says Maniža, "and my fiancé's whole family saw my picture with this notice, and when they see you on the police website, they all think that you have committed who knows what crime... so my wedding has been ruined." Maniža is quite a well-known figure in Dušanbe, where she works in a beauty salon, and has more than 48 thousand followers on Instagram.
In fact, it was thought that the "street machismo" of Tajiks and policemen had been overcome, when last summer Law Enforcement fined 30-year-old Kosim Ojev to the same extent as Maniža for harassing a woman. It was the first case of punishment for male harassment in Tajikistan, after the country's women had made numerous appeals to the authorities for protection from "catcalling" and male advances, which are deeply rooted in Tajik men's traditions.
The son of Tajikistan's president, Rustam Emomali, publicly promised two years ago that he would take women's defense to heart, and the Dushanbe municipality promised to address the problem with "harassment" ordinances, which were never issued.