Drug addicts and former inmates arrested in Turkmenistan
Law enforcement agencies of Turkmenistan are after suspected drug addicts and former inmates. The operation is under way in Ashkhabad and regional centers.
Sources in Turkmen security structures say that patrols comprising officers of the National Security Ministry and Interior Ministry and representatives of local administrations comb tenements for suspected drug addicts and people with former troubles with the law. Whoever is encountered is detained and sent to nearby provisional detention centers. Whenever owners of apartments refuse to open the door, the law enforcers break them down and enter without a moment's hesitation.
All cities are divided into sectors. Patrols assigned to a sector use trucks to take detainees to provisional detention centers. Detainees spend several days there pending court verdict. They eventually find themselves sentenced to a spell in penitentiary labor centers in Nebet-Dag, Tashauz, and Tejen and assigned to construction sites and other suchlike places. Whatever families can raise $100-150 are permitted the hope to see their relatives released on bail.
Die Deutsche Welle quotes insiders in law enforcement agencies as saying that the operation was mounted on orders from President Saparmurat Niyazov given at the latest meeting of the government. Sources say as well that the initiative actually belongs to Tashkent top cop Sh. Shahirov who suggested it as a means of purging criminals from Turkmen cities on the eve of the New Year and replenishing the workforce assigned to construction sites and other objects throughout the country.