Bad Language Lands Uzbek Official In Hot Water

Bad language and a short temper have landed one local Uzbek official in hot water.

Bahrom Quziev, a neighborhood committee head in the eastern city of Samarkand, angered over a complaint a woman was threatening to send to the Uzbek president's office, has been ordered to pay a fine after he peppered the argument with his constituent with insults like "bastard" and "faggot."

Quziev's outburst was secretly recorded on a mobile phone by the woman's son, who presented it as evidence after taking the official to court earlier this month.

The three-minute video shows the finger-pointing official telling off a woman, dressed in long traditional dress, for allegedly "slandering" him.

"Don't you dare slander me like that," Quziev, the head of the Qushtamghali neighborhood committee tells the woman, identified as 52-year-old local resident Mastura Musaeva.

"I haven't slandered you," says Musaeva, whose face cannot be seen in the video, in which the two are seen arguing near a parked car.

"You said you're writing to [the president's virtual office]. Write to whomever you want. I have seen plenty of stupid people like you. Understand?" Quziev says.

"OK, OK," Musaeva can be heard saying.

Quziev begins to get into the car before he turns around again to get in some parting shots.

"Go and find the solution with the person who has come out of your mother's belly," Quziev says, an apparent reference to Musaeva's brother, with whom she was involved in a dispute over a family house that prompted her complaint to authorities.

Musaeva's son, who didn't want his name to be published, told RFE/RL that his mother did indeed send her complaint to President Shavkat Mirziyaev in the hope he could help resolve the ownership dispute.

Musaeva believed the house was unfairly registered in her brother's name, with Quziev's help, the son said.

He said the complaint was filed to the president's so-called virtual office that Mirziyaev set up in September to make it easier for people to "directly" send him their complaints and suggestions online or via telephone. The virtual office, locally known as the portal, has reportedly received thousands of letters from citizens.

Musaeva's threats to write to the portal apparently did not sit well with Quziev, the head of her neighborhood committee. He can be seen in video saying he was "not afraid of anyone," since he had not done anything wrong.

"You told me that you're going to write to the portal. Your brother heard it too. I told him, 'Hey, ass, find some solution together with your sister.'"

Quziev repeatedly refers to Musaeva's son and brother as "bastard" and "faggot," and taunts them for not being able to find "a common language" with each other.

"You can't find a common language with the person who came from your own mother's belly, would you find a common language with me?!" Quziev asks.

"No, look...." Musaeva starts to say before the official cuts her off.

"You're slandering me. Bastard!" he says. "I just spoke with your bastard brother about you. That bastard was leaving. I told him, 'You, bastard, stop and listen to your bastard sister's words.'"

"OK. OK," Musaeva responds. The official continues to rant before getting into his car and driving away.

Last week, the Samarkand district court ordered Quziev to pay a fine -- equal to five months' minimum wage -- for verbally insulting Musaeva during the March incident.

The family, however, is unhappy with the court ruling, saying the fine of about $100 was too lenient for the offense.

"The court could at least order him to pay 100 months' salary," Musaeva's son says. "My mother has since been suffering mentally. Had it happened to someone else they would beat him up for insulting their mother. But me and my mother dealt with it decently."

Musaeva's son says he stopped himself from "attacking Quziev to defend" his mother, "because I would have been sent to prison for beating a government official."

"I opted for the legal route and went to court," he said, "but I'm not satisfied with the court decision."

Written by Farangis Najibullah based on reporting by RFE/RL's Uzbek Service correspondent Shukhrat Babajanov