Vladimir Kozlov may soon suffer a stroke due to lack of medical care in prison

  • 29.07.2013
  • Author: Editorial office

The 52-year-old opposition politician is still not being treated in prison - this news was reported by his wife, Aliya Turusbekova. Vladimir Kozlov’s current health problems could lead to a stroke, but the administration of the colony remains idle.

On 16 July, 2013, Aliya Turusbekova reported that she had had a telephone conversation with her husband, Vladimir Kozlov. During the conversation, the opposition politician complained that he was still not being treated in the colony EC-164/3, where he is serving his prison sentence. "He had severe pain in the right hip joint. He wrote a application for medical care to the medical unit, but it prompted no reaction from the administration of the colony,"- said Aliya Turusbekova.

In addition, Vladimir Kozlov is disturbed by frequent headaches and high blood pressure. The health condition of the opposition politician was commented on by a renowned Kazakh physician, president of the Civil Foundation ‘Aman Saulyk’, Bakhyt Tumenova: “Vladimir Ivanovich has suffered from vascular disorders for the last ten years, and upon his diagnosis, I referred him to a neurologist. Twice a year, he received medication which supported his vascular system - drips and tablets. Now, he apparently suffers from an aggravation. Given the condition of his vessels, his severe headaches mean there is a threat he may suffer a stroke”.  According to Bakhyt Tumenova, the optimal solution for Vladimir Kozlov would be to receive treatment in the form of drips, however they are dangerous to administer in a colony, since there is a risk of contracting dangerous infections: hepatitis C or HIV.

On 23 July, 2013, Aliya Turusbekova had a short meeting with Vladimir Kozlov in the colony. During the meeting, he reported that the pain in his back troubles him more and more. In the infirmary he was prescribed some pain relievers, but they did not help. The situation is being further aggravated by frequent duties, to which Vladimir Kozlov has been assigned. “From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. they work in the kitchen, peeling potatoes, washing dishes, cleaning up the dining room. It's all unpaid work, and with hardly any breaks“,- stated Aliya Turusbekova. According to human rights activist, Yevgeniy Zhovtis, such actions, carried out by the administration of the colony are illegal, because prisoners shouldn’t be engaged in an unpaid work more frequently than 2 hours a week. If they work longer, then such work should be paid. 

Vladimir Kozlov continues to insist that he be transferred to one of the colonies near his place of residence, ie. in the Almaty Province. Vladimir Kozlov is serving his sentence in the colony EC 164/3 in the city of Petropavlovsk, North Kazakhstan Province. According to Article 68 of the Criminal Executive Code (CEC of the RK), the convict should serve his sentence in a prison proximate to the place of his last residence prior to his arrest. In the case of Vladimir Kozlov, this would be the city of Almaty. As in Almaty there is no strict regime colony, Vladimir Kozlov should have been transported to the Almaty Province in order to ensure the maintenance of contact with his family, - human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis explained the reasons behind the provisions of the CEC of the RK.

Another significant reason for his transfer to a prison near his place of residence is the fact that his wife, Aliya Turusbekova, is pregnant. Because of the great distance between them, it is going to be difficult for her to visit him. In this regard, Vladimir Kozlov is going to write an application for a transfer to a colony in the Almaty Province.Earlier, on 21 May, 2013, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kalmukhanbet Kasymov stated that there are no barriers to transferring Vladimir Kozlov to one of the prisons of Almaty, but the request cannot be granted, because, according to Article 76 CEC of the RK, the person sentenced to imprisonment must serve his entire sentence in one correctional institution.

However, what arouses concern is the fact that on 17 July, 2013, one of the secret anonymous sources of the information-analytical portal ‘Respublika’ informed the editorial staff that Kazakh secret services are preparing a provocation against Aliya Turusbekova in order to exert pressure on her husband, Vladimir Kozlov. They intend to compel the politician to confess his guilt, give incriminating testimony against Mukhtar Ablyazov and publicly repent. “The pressure will be exerted through his wife, Aliya Turusbekova. The instruction was given to obtain materials, discrediting Aliya”,- former law enforcement officer of Kazakhstan told the journalists. Vladimir Kozlov enunciated that he had repeatedly faced similar methods, applied by the intelligence services. However, he abides by the principle never to admit to anything he has not done.

As for the criminal executive system as a whole, while in prison, Vladimir Kozlov has expressed a desire to suggest to MPs his concept of a reform of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is now being actively discussed in Kazakhstan. According to Vladimir Kozlov, a system of preferences should be created, which would motivate convicted offenders to rehabilitate and, as a result, would open up the possibility for parole.

Due to the deteriorating health condition of Vladimir Kozlov, and the apparent disdain shown towards the politician’s application to grant him medical assistance, the Open Dialog Foundation hereby calls on the Kazakh authorities, including the administration of the colony, to immediately provide to Vladimir Kozlov with the opportunity to undergo professional medical treatment. Lest we forget that in May 2013, the administration of the colony EC 164/3, represented by A. Zhumabayev assured the Open Dialog Foundation in writing that in the event of receipt of an application from the convict, V. Kozlov for the provision of paid medical and other services, he will be given the opportunity to use the services in accordance with the Order No. 182 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan”.At the moment, the Kazakh authorities, including the administration of the colony, are violating the rights of the convicted oppositionist whilst misinforming the international community.

The Open Dialog Foundation hereby addresses the authorities of Kazakhstan with the following demands: 

  1. 1.      To transfer Vladimir Kozlov to one of the prisons of the Almaty Province in accordance with the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
  2. 2.      To provide guarantees of security in connection with the threats against the oppositionist’s wife, Aliya Turusbekova; otherwise the Kazakh authorities will be held directly liable.

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