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Operation “Butterfly” targets sex workers, hundreds arrested

Bishkek, March 2007 -- Police in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, launched in the beginning of March this year a campaign “Butterfly” aiming at „finding disappeared girls, identifying individuals engaged in pimping, individuals practicing commercial sex and avoiding medical examinations, and recruiters of people for sexual exploitation.”

264 people were brought up to police stations ward during the raids. Fifteen underage homeless children were detained and brought to Bishkek Adoption and Rehabilitation Center for Minors. Police is planning to engage specialists from a dermatologic-STI dispensary to undertake compulsory STI and HIV tests among sex workers. Prostitution in Kyrgyzstan is not illegal.

The raid comes as a follow up of the government’s resolution “On State Prevention Program of HIV/AIDS Pandemic and their Social and Economic Impact on Kyrgyzstan in 2006-2010” and the order of the Head of Bishkek City Office of Internal Affairs (GUVD) of Bishkek “On Additional public security measures in Bishkek City for the period of preparation and duration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit”.

The activity covered cafés, bars, restaurants, casinos, night clubs, dormitories, hotels, private apartments and sauna facilities, as well as 10 outdoor spots where sex workers gather. Guards were left on the spots to prevent further gatherings.

The raid team of Criminal Investigation Department arrested a sauna administrator allegedly holding a brothel for provision of sexual services. Another person was arrested under the charges of holding a “den” for drug users.

Contact person: Gulnara Kurmanova, Tais Plus, Kyrgyzstan
E-mail: gkurmanova@yandex.ru
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