Slaves are silent


My daughter passed on the request, or more precisely question from a classmate. He had twice been stopped by police officers, or by those who call themselves the police. They stopped the lad, asked him to empty out his pockets. The word “asked” is not appropriate here since it’s clear that school students are not able to hold a discussion in defence of their rights on the “Miranda rules”. The lad says that as well as his pockets, the “police officers” also checked either his socks or the creases in his trousers.

All of this was in broad daylight. Artur wanted to know what he should do. Via my daughter I advised him when it happened again (and it did), to say that since this was all unlawful, he would not show them anything and to demand that they call his parents, give him the opportunity to call a lawyer, show him their identification so that he could write down their names. .

It should be said that Arthur proved a real man and tried the experiment (I confess, fairly dangerous, if you take into account the specifics of the cop mentality), 

The author says that he is inclined to believe his daughter that the police officers backed off, muttering something about “huh, a real smart aleck”.

He says that it’s not clear why Artur was targeted.  Maybe the fact that he was different from your normal lout with a can of beer.  Maybe an instinctive desire to crush any demonstration of freedom. Or perhaps just the banal wish to earn some money by planting drugs.

Viacheslav Manukian believes that it is the slave upbringing in schools, the collective cowardice, assiduously encouraged by teachers incapable of defending even their own rights (when do you ever hear of teachers going on strike, he asks).which makes such lawlessness possible. 

He stresses that such behaviour can be stopped. “Two things are needed – self-respect and a minimum knowledge of the law regulating relations between the individual and the authorities represented by the “man with a gun”.

According to the Law on the Police (Article 11) the police can indeed check documents – if they suspect that the person has committed an offence. And the suspicion must be real, and not imagined (I think …) Other “checks”, not linked with suspicion of involvement in a crime are unlawful and at best a pretext for the incompetence of the police.

A police officer must present, if asked, his identification. You should always ask to be sure that you’re dealing with a police officer, and not a bandit (although the author points out that the “Simferopol case” demonstrates that one does not preclude the other”).  You can write down their details, which has a strong effect, making them treat you with respect.

Most important, he stresses, DO NOT BE AFRAID.

“The police when communicating with a private individual have DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES, and you have RIGHTS and FREEDOMS. And let this passage not surprise those “citizens” who haven’t read the Constitution – the activities of the State are directed at ensuring MAXIMUM rights and freedoms. Otherwise what would we need the State for at all?”


Viacheslav Manukian is a Kharkiv lawyer.  The  text above is an abridged version of an article for the newspaper “Friday” №13 (258)

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