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Those who were shooting, are already at large

Kazakhstan, 17.09.2014


Six police officers who shot on people in Zhanaozen, are already at home, the political prisoner Vladimir Kozlov has reported in a letter to his family. It is noteworthy that they were serving time in very comfortable conditions, they weren't even made to wear prison uniforms or attend head-counts. 


Politician Vladimir Kozlov described the conditions in which inmates are doing time in the Zarechensk colony. And not only did he describe it, but also drew parallels and made conclusions. In light of recent events with the 'routine' exercises in prisons, all these facts become ones of particular importance. Here are excerpts from his recent letter, sent home. 


"(...) Here, in the colony, more and more frequently I hear gossip about some secret 'counting', about certificates which our 'agencies' covertly and illegally place in the 'personal files' of prisoners. For example, the qualification of investigators, operational investigators and others did not allow them to gather evidence to prove that the person was a member of an organised criminal group, but they believe that he was, and that's it. Consequently, they convict him based on some contrived charges, depending on what is at hand, which was supposed to have been 'discovered' in  his possession during his detention. If it's a package containing heroin - he will be convicted under Article 259, abullet or a grenade - under another article.


At the same time, during the investigation, they warn the person that if his testimony includes statements, such as: "I was walking down the street, I found it by accident, I intended to deliver it to the police..."", then the person will be convicted under articles with minimum sanctions, but if he claims: "It's not mine, they planted it, damn swindlers!", then the term of imprisonment will be closer to the maximum allowed. And, practically, it always happens, which  confirms the popular truth of the lack of separation of the law enforcement system (investigation-trial) in our country, and, due to this fact, the absence of this system as such. I am not talking about the guilt of lack of guilt of the man, because this 'conceptual subjective and selective approach', replacing the qualifications for those who decide our fate, makes it practically impossible to defend oneself with the support of the law. 


So, in addition to all other actions, a document is added to the personal file of such prisoners; officially, the document does not exist, but it clearly prescribes certain responsibilities with respect to the prison inmate, to the administration and the Committee of the Criminal Executive System: they are obliged to punish him with admonitions and other sanctions every 5-6 months, so that he does not qualify for a transfer to a penal colony with less stringent conditions, to an open penal colony, or for release on parole. All this regardless of the actual behaviour of the convict in prison. And the CCES obediently executes it all, with no exeception. Such cases are too numerous to prove this claim wrong. 


And my history of doing time is the same, although in my case, the administration formally 'bases' its stance on the existance of charges under Article 235, section 1 (organised criminal group) in my sentence, although in this case, the law does not provide for special attention and treatment for me (see above), but directly instructs the CCES to base not on the sentence, but on the factual, 'personalised' circumstances of my stay in prison. And we serve time in this 'shit', and the law is 'brushed aside'. 


... The prosecutor's office hasn't replied to my application yet, and only a few days are left for them to respond. After 25 August, 2014, I will address the General Prosecutor's Office, and this time I will report violations on the part their regional counterpart, and, immediately, without waiting for answers, I'll file a motion in the court, requesting the abolition of penalties under Article 27 of the Civil Procedure Code.


We went to a morning head-count. Today, for the first time I saw, with my own eyes, an internal troops soldier (a controller from the Interior Ministry Troops of the RK) slap a prisoner, a young guy, in the face. It wasn't a strong blow, just with an open hand, but biting and insulting. Such attacks are always a provocation aimed at prompting a response in the form of aggression, after which the workers gain the right to 'kick the living daylights' out of the inmate", from the depth of MIA's heart. Prior to this, I had not seen them beating anyone, neither in unit no. 3, nor here. Yes, I've heard about it,  I've seen people with fresh bruises, but I haven't seen the act itself with my own eyes. 

Now I have absorbed the firm conviction, based not only on circumstantial evidence, but also on my own experience: in the system, they continue to beat people, often severely. And some of these beatings are provoked by representatives of the colony administration, who don't know any other way, who do not wish to be educators, but prefer to destroy, rather than build. 


I didn't specify the details on purpose - I'm not identifying the inmate who was hit, or from which unit,  because it's quite unpleasant to intercede for someone else, let everyone fight for themselves. BUT! I saw it in person, with my own eyes, and I can now clearly testify that the deeds that National Preventive Mechanisms, Public Oversight Commissions, and other governmental human rights organisations within the MIA's CCES system are designed to prevent, are widespread. Obviously, I have not discovered America, but now I have the moral right to testify about it, relying on the fact that I am an insider in the System.


(...) Recently I have learned that the six policemen who, carrying out a criminal order, shot on people in Zhanaozen, are already at home; all of them, with no exception. They did time in the colony for 'former intelligence employees', isolated from everyone else, in very comfortable conditions. They didn't even have to wear prison uniforms or attend head-checks, and at the first legal opportunity, they went home. This information, I believe, is reliable, as prisoners have their own system of 'registering' information about other inmates, and, as a rule, they do not lie. So those who were shot at, are still serving time, and those who did the shooting - are already at home. No comment."


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