During the entire month of November police officers in civilian clothes have been conducting a campaign of detaining females in cafes, restaurants and discos. After 11 p.m. – recreational facilities are open until this time – females have been detained on the streets.
The women detained have been forcibly checked for sexually transmitted infections and are obliged to undergo urine testing for drugs.
The detention procedure, or “raids” to put it simply, is conducted in the following manner: a group of men in black suits bursts into a restaurant, seizes women and takes them to the police station. Moreover, it is not only women who sit alone but also women accompanied by their male companions or spouses who are seized.
The law enforcement officers did not believe what the spouses of the detainees said or explained. Their marital status needed to be legally verified. Husbands took a taxi to go home in order to bring back passports or marriage certificates. Cases were recorded when females celebrating a special family occasion with not only their spouses but also their parents were detained. While husbands left in order to bring back documents, mothers or mothers-in-law of the detainees kept vigil at the police stations.
Smoking or alcoholic drinks on the table is considered to be another reason for the detention of females. Despite the official smoking ban in public places visitors do smoke in cafes and restaurants, but only women smokers were arrested, smoking by men was ignored. Alcohol on the tables, even beer or champagne, also became “an aggravating factor” but only for females.
Police officers say that the detention of females is a measure being undertaken to combat prostitution and that the campaign has identified many cases of sexually transmitted diseases among commercial sex workers who were detained in the course of “the efforts to foster high morals in the epoch of power and happiness”.
With women being treated in such a manner by the law-enforcement authorities, rumours are circulating that by 2016 females could be banned from driving cars. For several years now females have been facing problems when trying to get their driving licenses. If males have to pay a bribe of $2000 to get their driving licenses, the cost is twice as expensive for females.