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Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan): Mandatory Video Surveillance Introduced in Public Places

(Aug. 3, 2015) On May 18, 2015, the President of Kyrgyzstan signed into law the Outdoor Video Surveillance Act (Law No. 103 (May 18, 2015), Ministry of Justice website (in Russian)). The Act obligates the municipal authorities of the two largest Kyrgyz cities, Bishkek and Osh, and businesses registered in these jurisdictions to install video surveillance equipment in public places. The Act states that the goal of this measure is to secure public order and achieve better results in preventing, stopping, and investigating crimes. (Id. art. 2.)

Mandatory surveillance extends to squares, markets, shopping centers, stores, parks, roads, bridges, railroad crossings, parking lots, collective garage compounds, educational and medical facilities, the space surrounding business enterprises, and public and residential buildings. (Id. art. 7.) In most cases, the owner of property that is subject to surveillance is responsible for installing and maintaining the necessary equipment, preserving video information recorded within a three-month period, securing the confidentiality of the recordings, and making the information available to the authorities at their request. Property owners are required to pay all the associated costs of conducting surveillance. Additionally, they are required to inform the public that there is working video surveillance equipment on the premises and to place notification signs in Kyrgyz and Russian. (Id. arts. 9-11.)

All video surveillance equipment must be registered with the local police, who define the technical parameters of the equipment. It is the responsibility of police inspectors to instruct the owners how to install the equipment and to prescribe the angle at which the surveillance should be conducted. (Id. art. 8.)

According to the legislators who sponsored the legislation, it is expected that the implementation of the Act will help cut in half the rate of petty crime in the country. (Kyrgyzstan Adopts Law on Mandatory Installation of Video Cameras in Public Places, RUBEZ.RU (Dec. 19, 2014).)

Written by Nerses Isajanyan, Foreign Law Consultant, under the supervision of Peter Roudik, Director of Legal Research.