Saint Petersburg


He wishes to remain anonymous…
– Of course, they knew about my orientation. I lived in a small town, and in St. Petersburg I didn't conceal it either. I had my own attorney board, a business. Not that a kind of super firm, but since 2010 it had been really prosperity, there were many cases and plans. The bolt from the blue had come when I got into politics.
Oleg, ex-lawyer

«They nailed the crew which was blackmailing gays»

— How had I get to that guy? My daughter and her children lived there. She rented an apartment in the very same apartment building where he allegedly lived. He often invited me to come over, so I decided to visit him first and then to go to my daughter. And... I was locked there. Moreover, they called the bandits there. Practically, they caught gays on bait. Later the gang, that was engaged in blackmailing gays, was seized. They were shooting video to blackmail us. Among the videos there was video of me. And the minor confirmed «yes, that was». Indeed, it was. He was fifteen years and four months old, although he said that he had already been sixteen.
Arrest and Psychiatric Hospital
First they brought me to Lebedevka (detention centre №4). The conditions were better there. The investigators probably thought that I would start to cooperate, to tell everything I know and even don't know. I had never stipulated anyone. Therefore, they decided to transfer me to the «Crosses» (detention centre №1). There is lousier than in Lebedevka, no hot water or anything else. For a while I was placed into a psychiatric ward. Eventually I was even pleased. I was about sixty, I didn't suffer. There I could finally reflect, read books. I went into logic, the theory of the state. You know, I've even realized that it's sometimes easier to get along with mental patients than with the healthy.

I was supported by gays, social activists and family

I was supported by fellow party members. Leonid Agafonov from the PON (public oversight commission) explained me what and how to do. His suggestions helped a lot. Three or four minutes talk, and, you know, those were the most useful, accurate recommendations I needed at that moment. Besides, I have many gay friends, very many. Of course, they helped me too. I felt such a community. And the most important thing, of course, is my family, my daughters.
Out of CANdidates to CONvicts: handcuffs and policy
While being transferred? Well, I was alone most of the way. Several times someone was hooked up to me… But when they found out I was a lawyer, no one was put next to me. How was I treated? I had the status of a lawyer before the imprisonment, so I was treated well. Once they wanted to settle me into some kind of a ward, where the «offended» were. There one came at me. It was in the prison hospital named Gaaza. I was immediately transferred to another ward – away from a sin. And, strangely enough, I was even taken under guardianship. Protected somehow...
Colony for «ex-employees»: the cleaner of the exemplary squad
Honestly, no, nothing happened to me because of the article... I did cleaning up in prison: I washed space there, although at times scrubbed toilets. That's all. Really, where would they put me? To the production? I wouldn't have lived there for two days in such a rhythm at my pre-retirement age. They didn't need that either, because the squad was exemplary. In the colony for ex-employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where I was serving a sentence, everything was being neglected. I don't know the situation in ordinary zones and if there are the «offended»? When someone from the squad tried to make a claim against me, the senior quarantine had listened to me and said: «OK, men. He is neither «lowered» nor «offended». Stop disturbing him. Everything else is nonsense».
Nevertheless someone gave me the stink eye
Several times a group of young prisoners tried to run into me — they have really inconvenienced me. Besides, I'm hard of hearing. They pushed me during the roll call. I said one of abusers: «You better check the temperature in hell first. I'm a lawyer and I'm able to submit such a complaint that you won't get your early release for another ten years»... I realized that many of those ex-employees are cowards. And the order is based there not on pressing or power, but on fear to loose the right for early release.
A letter from a gay and the Federal Prison Service questions
Have I heard about same-sex relationships? Of course, I have. Everything happens in the world. It took place there, but it was done secretly. People communicated with each other, but without publicity. There was another interesting case. Do you see the icons, hanging in the kitchen? They belong one gay guy who lived at my place. I thought of making him a lawyer. So that Yura nearly let me down. He sent me a letter to the colony that he didn't have any personal life. The letter was read by officers of a special department, also the senior observer had learned about it: «Even gays have been writing to you, haven't they?». I answered for that: «Yes, I helped them before, I help them nowadays and I am going to help, because I always stand for the rights of offended» (laughs). Once a homophobic guy had a stomachache. He knew that I had powders. I understand in medicine. «While you were healthy, I was not so good for you, but having indigestion, you run to me for powder. Is it all right if the doctor is a gay?».

Turning to legislation, I want to note. Discrimination on sexual orientation was initially fixed in our legislation. It's a trouble. The Criminal Code makes differences between same-sex people and heterosexuals. It becomes clear from the Criminal code that the law treats same-sex relations much worse than heterosexuals. If there is a conditional term for heterosexual relations, or the person avoids responsibility at all, for example, by marrying, for same-sex relationships the sanctions are tougher — the accused gets a real term. Also, the article for «propaganda» of the Administrative Code is only for LGBT people. It turns out that there is no equality before the law, as it was written in the Constitution.

Not everything can be changed at once, but we can educate. Moreover, I think we should speak.

Made on