Ex-Soviet state orders closure of ‘all brothels’
Kyrgyzstan’s authorities are seeking to close establishments offering sex services in the country by December 1. The drive is spearheaded by Kamchybek Tashiev, the head of the State Committee for National Security (GKNB), the agency tasked with battling terrorism and organized crime.
The announcement was made on Thursday, effectively meaning raids on all brothels in the country must be completed by tomorrow.
“Heads of state and municipal bodies and the law enforcement have received instructions on the need to stop the operation of entertainment establishments, bath complexes, and brothels providing citizens with sex services by December 1,” the GKNB press service has said.
While prostitution itself was decriminalized in Kyrgyzstan in the late 1990s, setting up brothels, pimping, and otherwise recruiting sex workers remains illegal. The GKNB has recently carried out a series of raids on brothels across the country, shutting down ten sex dens and apprehending nearly 70 working girls, Tashiev revealed on Thursday, as he delivered a speech during a ceremony to inaugurate the new headquarters of the agency.
The GKNB also arrested six individuals suspected of setting up the brothels as the prostitutes are expected to testify against them in an upcoming court case, the official suggested. The raided establishments had been providing services of varying quality, from rather affordable to the most ‘elite’ ones, with some of the prostitutes charging up to $3,000 per hour, Tashiev revealed.
The GKNB boss reiterated his pledge to weed out organized crime in the country, stating that the authorities have been “turning a blind eye” to it for over 30 years.
“Everyone knew everything and everyone turned a blind eye. This cannot continue like this. We cannot close our eyes to this anymore. No, we will eradicate this bad phenomenon, the state has enough means and strength,” he declared.
Earlier this month, Tashiev promised to rid Kyrgyzstan of organized crime by 2026.
“I’ve been preparing for the fight against [organized] crime for two years. By 2026, everything will be calm, there will be no crime,” Tashiev told the parliament, stating that while the country has been previously known as an “islet of democracy” in Central Asia, it will turn into the “islet of the rule of law” after he finishes his endeavor.