Interview with a political opposition leader in Kazakhstan. Kozlov: when released from prison, I want to continue my activity as a human rights defender

  • 16.11.2015
  • Author: Editorial office

A video interview between a Kazakh blogger and activist, Galym Ageleuov, and Vladimir Kozlov has recently been published online. At the beginning of August, the leader of Kazakh opposition celebrated his 55th birthday. Fourth in a row spent behind bars. Despite the long-standing battle with the autocratic authorities, in the last years carried out from severe Kazakh prisons, Kozlov hasn’t lost his spirit. On the video, without self-censorship, he talks about the absurdities of life in a penal colony, his health condition or his relations with the prison administration. At the same time, he declares: "after being released from prison, I want to continue my activity as a human rights defender".

The purpose of these unbearable conditions and numerous provocations against Kozlov could be to provoke his complete isolation, or a transfer to another colony.

The interview was recorded at the time of the visit to the penal colony by representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), and when Kozlov was placed in solitary confinement. Soon afterwards, the prison authorities unlawfully sent Kozlov for half a year to a stricter regime part of the detention facility, ignoring his poor health conditions. Kozlov was thus prevented from an earlier release on parole, to which he is entitled after having served half of his sentence. The purpose of these unbearable conditions and numerous provocations against Kozlov could be to provoke his complete isolation, or a transfer to another colony.

Kozlov was sent to solitary confinement on 17 July 2015. He was punished for having returned to the dormitory, unable to stand for hours in almost 50 Celsius heat, as ordered by the prison authorities. Soon afterwards, Kozlov’s term in strict regime part of the colony was prolonged by 6 months. The decision was explained by Kozlov’s bad conduct.

On the published recordings, Kozlov also describes how the rules - including the rights of the detainees – differ from the prison reality and declares that he does not intend to give up defending human rights.

Source: Facebook profile of Mrs Irina Petrushova, editor-in-chief of „Respublika“ newspaper

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