Autor projektu: Andrey Vlasov
During last year hundreds of people were detained in Russia at protests and accused in non-obedience to police/ illegal participation in demonstration. The situation escalated during last weeks following protests against Russian invasion to Ukraine, while hundreds of people were arrested. Many of the people who are detained continue to communicate via mobile phones from police cars. Facebook and Twitter are full of photos and message from people inside police cars (so called “avtozaks”). There are also some organisations and websites that map the police activities, provide list of detained people and suggest legal assistance (e.g. Russian ovdinfo.org). At the same time, one can list a number of challenges that are associated with this situation and argue that the potential of ICTs/mobile technologies in order to increase transparency around police actions and protect the detained, hasn’t been fulfilled yet.
The challenges include:
1. Crowdsourcing images/video and all the evidence around arrest of particular person in order to argue later that this person hasn’t attacked police, and the police report against this particular person is not credible.
2. Real-time monitoring of the movement of avtozaks and the location of detained people, including check-in system in police stations.
3. “Red button” – emergency alerts that allows to the detained to alert immediately friends, lawyers and relevant NGOs about his detention.
4. Providing step-by-step instructions how to act in case you were detained, as well as the relevant laws that can be used by detained in order to claim his rights after the detention.
5. Support to collection and sharing of all documents that are given to the detained person in the police station
The purpose of “GotDetained” app is addressing the challenges that are listed above and providing following functions:
1. Mechanism for documentation of arrests and linking all the evidences to particular person (in this case the users are not only the detained but also any participant of the protest, as well volunteers who analyse media content in order to find the relevant images).
2. Real time monitoring through GPS and check in avtozak mechanism (every avtozack get electronic identity once someone identified it) of the location and movement of detained people.
3. Red Button alert mechanism.
4. Set of laws and instructions that guide the detained once she/ he was arrested.
5. Mechanism that allows to archive police documents.
The application can be linked to organisation e.g. ovdinfo.org and support online map/ crowdsourcing platform.
Weakness: At this point Russian police don’t confiscate mobile phones from the detained. One may suggest, that it can be done in the future, however, it is problematic from legal point of view. However, even in case it will be confiscated, the application can be used by those who were not detained. It also can be used in the first minutes after detention that are the most important. It can also include emergency mode that will repost that the phone was confiscated by police.
Photo: by em_diesus (Flickr, CC-BY-SA)