President Raul Khadzhimba had a meeting with the leadership of the law enforcement agencies. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia and in the presence of the personnel of the Ministry.
The meeting was focused on the measures of providing law and order in the state.
Minister for Internal Affairs Leonid Dzapshba, Prosecutor General Aleksey Lomia and Chairman of the State Security Service Zurab Margania participated in the meeting.
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Raul Khadzhimba: Dear colleagues! Everybody knows that an effective law enforcement system is a guarantee of successful development of the state. Without it we cannot achieve anything in any sphere of activity. This is why creating such a system is our priority.
Our state does not have a lot of financial resources, yet we are doing everything to increase the level of logistical support of the law enforcement agencies. For this we use our own resources and we are also assisted by the Russian Federation.
Yet, we must understand that no material resources would be sufficient if law enforcement activities are not supported by the population. This is a two-way street. On the one hand, law enforcement officers have to obey the law themselves. On the other hand, the citizens must support them in their work.
Unfortunately, we are currently observing a different situation. Remember what was happening during the riots in the Dranda prison. They were actively supported by the relatives of the prisoners, which obstructed the work of police. In a different country they would have to incur a penalty prescribed by law. However, we are a small nation, everyone is a friend or a relative to someone, which is why we try to explain to people that such behaviour is unacceptable. Yet, this is perceived as weakness and it creates permissiveness.
What we have observed before the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is not only a blow to the entire law enforcement system, but to our state. If we will allow such confrontations to take place, then our state will have no chance. This is why we will take all measures prescribed by law against all those who organise such riots.
If law enforcement officers were responsible for violating the law, then there are established forms of protecting the rights of citizens. Abkhazia is not a big country, and everyone has a chance to contact an appropriate institution, even to see the President. Yet, people often decide to solve problems using street methods. Nobody reports to the police, and even witnesses of crimes refuse to testify. This is a consequence of the spread of a criminal subculture and a low level of trust to the law enforcement agencies. It is difficult to work in such conditions. Both the society and the law enforcement officers should work together to change this mentality.
Another alarming aspect is the attempt to use such situations to destabilise the internal political situation. I want to emphasise that nobody will win from such actions, as they undermine the foundations of the state, and we will continue to react to them in an appropriate way.
I want to stress that I must and that I will defend the Constitution and the rights of our citizens, particularly their right to hold a referendum. However, all attempts to use these processes to organise riots and violations of the law will be rebuffed. I am sure that the representatives of the opposition, who have initiated the referendum, are interested in this as well.
I instruct the leadership of the law enforcement agencies to increase the level of mutual cooperation. Citizens should feel sure of their security. Tough and principled measures, which strictly correspond to the law, are needed. The law gives the law enforcement officers enough authority, yet it has to be used in the right way. Explanatory work with the population is needed, which is why I instruct you to interact more with the mass media. The citizens should know firsthand about the goals and results of your work.
I address all our citizens and I urge you to assist in the work of the law enforcement agencies and to turn to the government of the state if your rights are violated. There will be an immediate response to all such requests.