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special treatment

Some people come and some people go. There's a new guy going to Uralsk. Sometimes I see Serik. We greet each other when they lead him to the toilet, as it's next to our hut.


The guards do not behave brutally - it's a standard here. Shymkent - someone comes, someone goes, or rather they are being taken in and out. There is a women's compartment as well - same as the rest of the 'huts'.


The youngsters try to communicate - the entire car is laughing. Cursing is as common as saying 'hello', but it's not aimed at anyone - just used as expression.


Not long ago there was an episode, when we were going back to our 'hut' after the sorting. There was a man sitting in the corner, and we were walking in one after another. When an invalid on crutches came to us (there are several) he immediately pointed at the man with his finger and said: 'He's gay'.


This 'identification' is mandatory. If people would not know that he's 'gay' and would (for example) touch him, he could even get killed for not saying who he was, as such a lack of communication is unacceptable.


The man immediately jumped up and began to explain something in broken Kazakh. For what I understood, he was imprisoned for rape and then raped by the police. The old stagers say it's common: the victim pays the police to 'lower down' the rapist, providing him a post in the 'harem'...


It's strange that guards let the lowered down end up in our hut - it's very dangerous. We allowed him to climb to the very top shelf and forbade him to go down at all, even to the toilet. He managed to get to Shymkent like this...


We slept in pairs, head to toe. It was very uncomfortable and even hotter. No beds, mattresses, pillows or blankets. My two covers provided some comfort. Everyone had something similar. It freshened a little in the morning, but not for long. Around dinner it was hot again.


There are only people going to Mangistau, Kyzylorda and Uralsk left in the hut. We talk. I found a bunch of mutual friends with a man from Aktau, although I'm much older. We read newspapers (I took some with me), people are confused by the details about Zhanaozen.


We talked about religion, Islam. Terrorism is not held in high esteem here, and it pleases me. The 'coolest' articles concern robberies and burglaries.


By the evening we had arrived in Kyzylorda. People are being taken in and out again. We clash with the escort and they don't 'add' anyone to our hut. There are seven people left, while in the neighbouring huts there are 10-11 people.


We finally slept well - one person per shelf. At night it got terribly cold - we all wrapped ourselves in blankets. The marijuana does not end, as opposed to everything else. Almost everyone smokes. Apparently, it helps them somehow. Today in the evening our 'Stolypin' should arrive in Aktobe.


We arrived in Aktobe - it was getting dark. Our 'Stolypin' is packed again. 20 minutes later we are in the detention centre. They lead us to the 'waiting room'. The room is 5 x 5 m and there are 20-30 people. In the corner there is a toilet, barely visible from all the crap.


It's everywhere - on the tank and walls... The smell corresponds with the view. People are various in here. Most of them have never seen or heard of normal life in the traditional sense, but I think imagination works the same for all of us.


Another search - they check the papers and cases again. Then they take us out one at a time and check our belongings. When there are ten people left, they ask 'Who is Kozlov?' It's interesting already, as they never asked names before.


A room with four police officers. Thorough search and questions. They see the fan - dead silence. What the hell is this? I explain - a turbine in a housing, no blades at all. Oh, and a remote...


They take me and my journal to the superiors. At first they are aggressive. Later, most them call me 'sir' and talk to me normally. We talk about the past and the politics.


The search is over (naked squats were necessary), they didn't return the fan so far, but the rest is back. Everyone visited the superior. A young Operation Services worker came in. We talk. I explain that 'going against the government' in a democratic country is not yet a crime.


Besides, none of the policemen know what Article 164 means - they have never seen anyone imprisoned under this Article before. I have to explain it to all of them, one by one... I think they understand.


The worker considers Nazarbayev the best. He even admires the fact that the president 'doesn't speak from notes'. The worker grew up during Nazarbayev's reign and it's just inconceivable for him that there can be someone else on the throne.


I ask him 'Are you satisfied with your salary'? - 'No, it's not enough', he says. - 'What do you think is the reason?' - 'The economy is weak'. - 'The president is strong, but the economy is weak. How is it possible?' He fell silent and started thinking. Then, he changed the subject.


It is clear that there are some special 'instructions' concerning me. It's noticeable at every stage of the proceeding. After one and a half hour (it's already dark) the worker takes me to a room across the yard.


We are here. The room is 4 x 5 meters. There's a tap and sink, but there's no water in it. There's a dish with water on the table, two double-bunk beds, each with mattresses, pillows and blankets. I turn on my radio and turn off the light - lo and behold! There's a switch in the room. I fall asleep.


«Sign of special treatment»

tags: treatment jail prison Vladimir kozl hut rape people aktau mangistauski subject episode youngsters go kazakhstan kazakh guards dead silence

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