Vladimir Kozlov transferred to the Kazahstani Siberia

  • 26.12.2012
  • Author: Editorial office

By the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Kazakhstan, the opposition politician has been convoyed to the penal colony outside the area of his residence, namely to Petropavlovsk, North Kazakhstan Province. This decision violates Art. 68 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as it deprives Kozlov of his right to maintain contact with his relatives. Immediately after the transfer, the convict was placed in ice-cold solitary confinement. Relatives and human rights activists have no possibility of verifying whether the rights of Vladimir Kozlov are being observed in the colony.

On the 16th of December, 2012, Vladimir Kozlov was brought to the North Kazakhstan region. The temperature in this region can be as low as -40 ° C. In the period from the 16th of December, 2012 to the 24th of December, 2012, Vladimir Kozlov was held in solitary confinement. He was permitted to meet with his lawyer only on the 25th of December, 2012. Prior to that, the authorities of the colony would not allow his lawyers to see him under various pretexts.

As previously reported, on the night of the 25th of November, 2012, Vladimir Kozlov was taken from the detention facility in Aktau in an unknown direction. Vladimir Kozlov’s spouse was deprived of her legitimate right to see her husband. Before the transfer, the National Security Committee conducted a search in Vladimir Kozlov’s cell, where a mobile phone was allegedly found. Relatives labelled it a provocation: prohibited items could not have been brought into the cell, as all Vladimir Kozlov’s visitors have always been carefully searched. Under this pretext, Vladimir Kozlov was sent to solitary confinement for 10 days’ incarceration and spent the first day of which, the 24th of November, 2012, in an ice-cold lock-up of the detention facility in Aktau on a concrete floor in the absence of a toilet and with a temperature of -5 ° C.

On the 30th of November, 2012, journalists acquired information that Vladimir Kozlov was being held in Zhambyl, the Taraz Province in southern Kazakhstan. The administration of the detention facility of the town of Taraz prohibited Vladimir Kozlov’s associates from passing him food. Human rights activist, Zhemis Turmagambetova, reported that they were going to transport the convict from Taraz to North Kazakhstan Province (northern Kazakhstan, on the border with Russia). The human rights activist stated that the Kazakh authorities, by their actions, grossly violated Article 68 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, under which a convicted person shall serve his/her sentence in a colony within the area of his/her last residence prior to his/her arrest (in the case of Vladimir Kozlov:  Almaty). On the 30th of November, 2012, Aliya Turusbekova, the wife of Vladimir Kozlov, addressed the Minister of Internal Affairs, Kalmukhanbet Kasymov, with a demand that the exact place of her husband’s detention be identified

Two weeks later, on the 14th of December, 2012, an official response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan arrived. It read: "Given the fact that the Mangistau Province has no general regime penal colony, the detention centre in Aktau was assigned as linked to the Department of the Correctional System in the North-Kazakhstan Province". Thus, Vladimir Kozlov was transferred to prison No. ES-164/3 inNorth-Kazakhstan Province.A few days later, the Minister of Internal Affairs informed Ivan Kozlov, the son of Vladimir Kozlov, that as of the 20th of December, 2012, no complaints about his transfer to the colony outside the district of his residence had been filed.

According to the relatives, on the 16th of December, 2012, Vladimir Kozlov was brought to the North Kazakhstan Province at the address: 150000, Republic of Kazakhstan, Petropavlovsk, 100 1st Zarechnaya Street, penal colony No. ES 164/3. This colony is known for stringent requirements of the regime and control by the administration. On arrival, Vladimir Kozlov was allowed to make a phone call to his wife Aliya Turusbekova. During the three-minute conversation, he said that the temperature in the North Kazakhstan Province was -40 ° C, but he was given boots, and then he was sent to solitary confinement for nine days. After his release from the solitary confinement, Vladimir Kozlov will serve another 15 days of quarantine. By Vladimir Kozlov’s voice, Aliya Turusbekova realised that her husband had caught a heavy cold. Experts and relatives of the convicted suggest that Vladimir Kozlov was placed in solitary confinement because of the penalty, administered after the search conducted in his cell in the detention facility in Aktau.

Yevgeniy Zhovtis admitted that that Mangistau Province has no general regime penal colony indeed, and so convicted persons from this province are sent to the Aktobe, Atyrau and North Kazakhstan Provinces. But it cannot apply to Vladimir Kozlov, as before his arrest, he was residing in Almaty. In the city of Almaty, there is no general regime colony, such a colony is located only in the Almaty Province (the village of Zarechnyi). According to the legislation of Kazakhstan, the city of Almaty and the Almaty Province come under the jurisdiction of different administrative units. But in terms of serving a sentence, Almaty and Almaty Province are subject to the same Department of the Criminal Executive System. Yevgeniy Zhovtis also notes that according to the logic of the Code of Criminal Procedure, should there be no colony within the area of the place of residence of a prisoner, the prisoner must  be placed in the nearest colony in order to make possible for him to maintain contact with his/her family. Therefore, by law, Vladimir Kozlov should serve his sentence in the Almaty Province.

Dmitriy Kozlov, the brother of Vladimir Kozlov, claims that the authorities by their actions have completely ignored the requirements of the law, by which they are openly taking reprisals against political opponents. The brother of the convicted oppositionist is convinced that "utter lawlessness is done with the tacit consent of the international community", and he calls on the EU and the U.S. diplomats and politicians to take all possible sanctions against the Kazakh authorities which are responsible for the oppression.

Vladimir Kozlov’s relatives underline that the leader of the ‘Alga!’ party was convicted for opposition and human rights activities, in particular, for the representation of the interests of striking oil workers in the European Parliament, the European Commission and the OSCE. On the 17th of January, 2012, in the European Parliament, Vladimir Kozlov made a speech at a conference on the post-election situation in Kazakhstan and the Zhanaozen tragedy, and on the 19th of January, 2012 he met with representatives of the European Commission in order to discuss the same issues. Vladimir Kozlov was arrested immediately after his return from Brussels on the 23th of January, 2012. The court verdict, handed down against opposition politician on the 8th of October, 2012, stated that “V. Kozlov took Talgat Saktaganov to Warsaw and Brussels, organised meetings with members of the European Parliament, and, having prepared a speech on the strike in the city of Zhanaozen, he made endeavours towards delivering this speech. Kozlov himself also spoke out against the presidential power and against the Government of Kazakhstan”.

In connection with Vladimir Kozlov’s transfer to the penal settlement outside his community, Aliya Turusbekova is going to write a letter to the General Prosecutor’s Office. Aliya Turusbekova is concerned about the fact that she is unable to verify whether the rights of Vladimir Kozlov in the penal colony, located in the furthermost northern province of Kazakhstan, are being observed.

The explanatory commentary to the Code of Criminal Procedure indicates that serving of a sentence of imprisonment in a prison within the community area aims at social rehabilitation as well as the maintenance of contact with the family. However, the incarceration of Vladimir Kozlov in a penal colony in the North Kazakhstan Province has the following consequences:

• Full deprivation of Vladimir Kozlov of the contact with his relatives;
• Lack of possibility of careful monitoring of prison conditions and the observance of the rights of the convict. 

The Open Dialog Foundation here by demands that the Committee of the Criminal Executive System of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstans top gross violation of Article 68 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Kazakhstan and that the convict, Vladimir Kozlov be transferred to penal colony within the area in which he resided prior to his conviction.

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