Tourists beware: Spitting is a crime in Kyrgyzstan

Tourists beware: Spitting is a crime in Kyrgyzstan

In the first 9 months of 2019, visitors and residents of Kyrgyzstan paid 5.8 million soms ($83,000) in fines for spitting in public places.

In total, for this period, according to Article 53 of the Criminal Code of Kyrgyzstan on violations prohibiting spitting, blowing one’s nose, snapping seeds and smoking in the wrong places, 11,500 police protocols were written. According to these protocols, fines in the amount of 1.4 million soms ($20,050) were paid.

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On January 1, 2019, new law on the protection of public order came into force in Kyrgyzstan. The Code of Violations included the rule that made spitting in the streets is illegal, which caused a wide public outcry. Opponents of this law stated that a fine of 5500 soms ($79) was absurd, considering meager incomes of residents of Kyrgyzstan.

In response to the introduction of this rule, residents began to upload videos with spitting government officials on social media networks.

Later, the authorities reduced the fine to 1,000 soms ($14.30) and amended that spitting and blowing one’s nose is not a ‘violation’ if a handkerchief, napkin, or trash can are used.

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