On Dec 21st, armed to teeth Kazakhstani officers stormed the houses and farms of Eric and Kalyk Mendigazievs. As the official line went, they were investigating the theft of 10 horses. In a rush to find them, they checked all the usual places: wardrobes, baths, and sofas – not bothering to visit the stables… This ludicrous operation of the security forces has taken aback even the horses’ owner himself, stunned that the theft was used as a pretext for harassment of his fellow farmers. Yet, this kafkaesque sequence of events has become depressingly familiar to those monitoring the ways and means of pursuing the opponents and critics of the regime. And, although the story sounds all Borat, unlike Borat that is just a comedy, the ongoing situation in the country is a far cry from it. The odd “rodeo” played by the authorities is really just another attempt to silence Eric and Kalyk’s close relative and human rights defender, Barlyk Mendigaziev.