Главная » Солидарность » Vadim Kuramshin beaten and intimidated in prison

Вадим_1ый_отряд - CopyNews has reached Campaign Kazakhstan that Vadim Kuramshin, the renowned political prisoner in Kazakhstan, has been badly beaten and intimidated. Before his imprisonment, he was an active campaigner against torture in the prisons and prison colonies of Kazakhstan.

Due to the clamp down on information we can only give a few details. During the latest visit by his wife, Vadim was accompanied by five guards with truncheons to prevent him speaking openly. We are awaiting the results of a proper investigation which should be carried out within a month.

At the beginning of April, thanks to campaigning by his supporters – both within Kazakhstan and internationally by Campaign Kazakhstan – Vadim was transferred from a strict prison regime to a regime in which conditions are supposed to be more relaxed. However, it is clear that the prison authorities had other intentions.

Worrying information has been appearing for some time – from a number of sources, as well as from Vadim himself – that he was being openly harassed and that attempts were being made to find any excuse to punish Vadim. The prison authorities were not able to make open attacks on Vadim at least until the end of last year. Then, because of the worsening situation, Vadim felt so concerned he announced a hunger strike at the end of February. After concessions from the prosecutor’s office, Vadim abandoned his protest.

During a recent visit from his lawyer, however, Vadim showed signs of bruising and one of his eyes was bloodshot. Although it was clear that he had been attacked, Vadim himself refused to confirm this and was more concerned that he should be transferred to a new prison.

When Vadim’s wife, Ekaterina, tried to raise the issue with the prison authorities, she was refused the right to even register a complaint. She did not want to push the issue too hard as Vadim was due a three day visit from his family.

Family visit

During this visit, Ekaterina noticed that Vadim was obviously under psychological pressure – he had difficulty expressing his thoughts, was nervous and hardly ever sleeps. When she asked Vadim how he had received the bruises, he simply said he “had fallen”. Vadim did say, however, that the prison authorities had warned him that if any more complaints were made, “the next time he would be beaten by those who had not yet managed to do so!”.

Ekaterina comments that both she and her husband are “angry to the depths of our souls at such threats” and she is calling for Vadim’s immediate transfer to a colony nearer to the capital.

On the way back from her visit, Ekaterina’s car caught fire and she was nearly involved in an accident. Her car had been in the care of the prison authorities during her visit. She comments: “Of course, I very much want to think that this was an accident, but the specialists think differently. Who knows? Maybe they have moved from (threatening) words to action!”.

Campaign Kazakhstan backs the protest made by Vadim to the head of the prison security, Zhomart Aitbaev, at the attempts made to discredit and harass his partner Ekaterina Kuramshina. We demand from the prison authorities in Kazakhstan to cease this brutal treatment of this innocent person. We also demand that Vadim Kuramshin is provided with the medical assistance he requires.

This Aitbaev is the same security chief who, on 1st November 2013, organised for thugs from the prison’s so called «press hut” to make a sexual attack on Vadim. This led Vadim to cut the veins in his wrist in protest. Notwithstanding international protests, Aitbaev, far from being censured, has since then been promoted.

Protest

Campaign Kazakhstan calls for letters to be sent to the authorities demanding a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the recent beating of Vadim. As his lawyer, Dmitrii Baranov, explains: “Even before this attack, Vadim was concerned that something of this sort would happen, or that he would face provocations from his ‘cell-mate’ trying to create a conflict”. He had reported that the other person sharing the cell with him is constantly trying to create an argument. Vadim assured his lawyer that he would do all in his power not to succumb to such provocations.

Whoever has ordered these attacks and whoever has carried them out will be discovered. For now, just a few words from Vadim just after his latest beating: “It’s evening, I’m just coming to myself, I’m filling my stomach with fortifying tea and look out of the window where the icy night is already setting in. I sit down, look out into the dark, turning over the events of the last couple of days in my mind”.

Campaign Kazakhstan is demanding that these brutal attacks on Vadim Kuramshin cease, that those responsible for the attacks are brought to justice. We also support the demand for Vadim to be transferred from his current prison to a prison nearer the capital Astana. But we are committed to campaigning for him to be released altogether and for all charges against him to be dropped. (See previous articles on this site.)

Please send letters and protests to the Kazakhstan embassy responsible for your country (listed here). If you can send a brief letter (in any language) to Vadim, it can have an effect on the authorities and, when it finally reaches him, lift his spirits.

Address to:- Vadim Kuramshin, Uchrezhdenie EC 164/4, Gornyi posiolok (Zhaman Sopka), Esilskiy rayon, North-Kazakhstan oblast, 150500, Kazakhstan.

Letter sent to Kazakhstan Embassy in London from Mick Whale, Secretary of Campaign Kazakhstan:

To the authorities in Kazakhstan:

We have learned with great anger of the treatment of the wrongly imprisoned human rights lawyer, Vadim Kuramshin, being held at Uchrezhdenie EC 164/4, Gornyi posiolok (Zhaman Sopka), 150500, Kazakhstan.

We have long been campaigning for his release and all charges against him to be dropped. Instead of this happening, we have received reports of brutal beatings and intimidations that are badly affecting his physical and psychological condition.

We demand that all such cruel treatment cease, that Vadim be moved immediately to be nearer to his loved ones, that they themselves do not become the victims of extra-judicial violence. We are calling for a an immediate review of his case to not only give him back his freedom but clear his name and agree compensation from the authorities who have wronged him so callously.

We believe the vile treatment of Vadim Kuramshin is one illustration of the brutal suppression of all political and democratic rights in Kazakhstan. We will continue to campaign for social justice and an end to the Nazarbaev dictatorship in Kazakhstan – a regime supported by British and other governments in the interests of greed and profit.

Campaign Kazakhstan

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