On February 26, Kazakhstan citizen Abdi Zinullin was going to have dinner with his sister in a restaurant in Moscow, but he was fined 20K rubles and was imprisoned for more than a month. The reason behind this arrest was “non-Russian” appearance. Putin punishers reach their detainment statistics taking advantage of such people. The independent Russian human rights project aimed at fighting with political repressions OVD-Info shared Abdi Zinullin’s story.
Abdi Zinullin was living in Moscow. He knew there would be anti-war protests on February 26, but he didn’t see many protesters. He decided to pick up his sister from work and have dinner together.
“I was standing on the bridge near the church not far from Kreml and wanted to cross the road to another river bank. The traffic was closed. I approached the police officer to check how to outwalk better. He explained and showed the way, then in half a minute another police officer approached me, asked to show the identity document and asked to follow him. I thought it would be the same as in Kazakhstan and I would be explained why I was detained. The police officer just said on his radio “One more from Kyrgyzstan was arrested”. I explained I was from Kazakhstan. Instead he said: “You all come from one asshole being cut from the same cloth. Don’t blow hot air here”. I was simply shocked. Then I was taken to the prison truck, the door was shut after me. I realized the show began: they had to detain as many people as possible. They arrested everyone who was passing by and stood out from the crowd. There was a girl with blue hair sitting with me in the truck”. – Kazakh says.
He was convicted for violating the rules of holding rallies (article 20.2 of the Criminal Code) and violating the immigration law (article 18.8 of the Criminal Code). 20K ruble fine was imposed for violating the first article, and he was sent to the detention center for foreign citizens in Sakharov on the outskirts of Moscow for breaking immigration rules. It has been overcrowded since all “non-Russian” looking guys have been detained since February 24.
“I have never encountered such an attitude like there. We were taken there and put in line in front of the guard. And they started yelling at us that we were scumbags and chumps. They were yelling at us to boost their self-esteem and intimidate us. One Ukrainian told me they were beaten to death there. Ukrainians are being taken there and beaten to death until they lose consciousness, then they are taken to the cell. I wasn’t beaten, but I saw people with faces red from bruises. They were simply beaten black and blue”. Abdi Zinullion says.
He spent 40 days at Sakharov detention center. It has been the prison. Instead of food, they were given cold spaghetti stuck together like a stone. We were given one glass of water a couple of times a day. Windows couldn’t be closed. Detainees tried to rescue themselves from the cold by closing the windows with paper and blankets. We begged to go to wash ourselves. There was a hole in the floor used as a toilet. It was not сovered in any way. So you ease yourself and everyone can see it.”
People are being treated like cattle and are being constantly yelled at: “You are idiots, fuckheads!”
“It is very depressing there. The guards are being soaked with propaganda. They always tried to explain Russia is a wealthy country where people live their best lives unlike the US. The whole world tries to harm Russia”, Kazakh narrates.
He also mentioned detainees are information deprived.
“There was a radio there, but they didn’t tell anything about the war. I was shocked when I was released to learn what happened to Ukraine during this time. Some cities were swept away”, Abdi Zinullin says.
Russia looks like total anarchy without rule of law for a foreigner. Even if the country where a tourist is from was not so long ago a part of such “people’s prison”.