The FSB distributed among the prisoners of the colony, where the political prisoner Azat Miftakhov is serving his term, his intimate photographs. This was done in order to transfer Miftakhov to the lower caste of the “offended”. Miftakhov himself decided to make this situation public, writes DOXA. The publication spoke with Miftakhov's wife Elena Gorban.
According to her, Miftakhov decided to use the publicity of what the security forces did to criticize the system of inequality of prisoners in prison. Now he faces more difficulties than other prisoners, but Miftakhov's status as a political prisoner protects him from serious troubles, says Gorban.
Who are the "offended" and what threatens them
“Offended”, they are also “roosters”, or prisoners “with a lower social status” - the lowest and most disenfranchised caste of prisoners. Everyone can get into it. For example, for having once done cunnilingus, and other prisoners found out about it - this automatically lowers the status to “offended”. Often the security forces are behind this, as in the case of Miftakhov. They can spread information about, for example, the prisoner's bisexuality. For this, a person is reduced to a "rooster". Also, security forces or “activists” among prisoners can rape a person in an attempt to obtain a confession of guilt in a criminal case or simply as punishment for misconduct. The raped person is also lowered in status.
The "offended" are forbidden to touch common utensils and objects, they often face violence from other prisoners, they are forced to eat while sitting on the toilet and sleep on the floor under the bed. In the camp they are offered the most “dirty” and hard work, which convicts from other castes cannot do in accordance with “concepts”.
Miftakhov was detained on February 1, 2019 on suspicion of illegal manufacture of explosives. According to him, the security forces forced confessions from him under torture. Later, members of the Public Monitoring Commission confirmed the use of violence against Miftakhov.
A week later, the mathematician was released, but was immediately detained and arrested in another criminal case - about "hooliganism committed by prior agreement motivated by political hatred." According to investigators, in January 2018, Miftakhov and his like-minded anarchists broke the window of the United Russia office in the Moscow district of Khovrino and threw a smoke bomb into the premises. There was no one in the office at the same time. The entire criminal case rests on the testimony of secret witnesses.
In January 2021, the Golovinsky District Court of Moscow sentenced Miftakhov to six years in a penal colony. Other defendants in the case - Elena Gorban and Andrey Eikin - were sentenced by the court to a suspended sentence of four and two years, respectively.
The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Miftakhov as a political prisoner. Azat Miftakhov was supported by hundreds of students and teachers from Russian and foreign universities, as well as more than 2,500 mathematicians from 15 countries.