Prison blog of Ildar Dadin’s fiancee. Permission for the first visit. 30th December

Anastasia Zotova and Ildar Dadin decided to get married in January, when Ildar was arrested. «Russia behind Bars» continues publishing the blog of Anastasia

On Monday 21st of December it was exactly one week from the moment that Ildar and I appealed to judge Natalya Dudar in order to be granted a permission to get married. Since normally such applications judges consider within 5 working days, I thought that she had already made a decision and I went to Basmanny court to get the document. However, surprises were waiting for me there.

First I was stunned by the statements made by a court bailiff. She told me off for the «riots» that, according to her, were organized by the attendees after the verdict was announced. Afterwards she asked, » Permission to get married ? For Dadin? Why do you need it? He will be soon released  on parole»

Apparently, there are some interesting rumors in Basmanny court…

Whereas in the judge Dudar’s office I found out that the permission was not ready yet. It turned out that before coming I should have checked by phone whether my document was ready. In order to avoid the frustration of coming there for nothing, I decided to write another request to judge Dudar. I made  a request to meet Ildar. I got the permission only after ten days, on the 30th of December.

After this unlucky trip, I decided to try my fortune in investigatory isolation ward # 4. In case you remember, I asked the lawyer to hand over an application for Civil Registry Office to Ildar. Ildar promised to fill it out and give it  to the chief of investigatory isolation ward # 4. Though I had no idea how to get this paper back from the ward in order to take it again to the Civil Registry Office. There was only one phone number indicated on the web-page of the investigatory isolation ward, which I called without any result. They declined to help me anyhow  and just told me to come there and figure everything out myself.

That’s what I did. I went there on Tuesday.  The investigatory isolation ward #4 turned out to be a decent looking light orange building that would resemble a school or a dormitory if not for the barbed wire.

It was not very hard to find the reception. Though it was way harder to find a more or less friendly Federal Service for Execution of Punishment  officer who could have explained me what I should do. «It’s all written on the information stand», I was told by a lady that was working there. I carefully examined all three information stands that were in the reception room, though I could not find a single word about the procedure of getting married. I was really confused, so I decided to ask that lady again. «Can’t you see? Over there, there is a number, just give them a call!», was her response.

I called and described my situation; I told them that I had given the application to my fiancée, he had filled it out, but I have no idea how I can get the paper back from the  investigatory isolation ward #4. «Have you talked to the principals of the investigatory isolation ward # 4 ?» » No, I have not…»

«Well, then you better do, go make an appointment»

There are two computers standing in the corner of the reception room. The access to them is controlled by a blond lady called Tatyana. She told me that a lot of procedures and application forms can be completed online. But first I had to register in the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment  system. I had to access the website of Federal Service for Execution of Punishment, then choose the right investigatory isolation ward out of the variety of those existing in Moscow and afterwards enter my personal information. Login was my cell phone number and the number of my passport served as the password. The biggest thing  was not to mess up with the investigatory isolation ward ‘s number, because for each of them one has to register separately.

After this registration procedure is completed, one can register for a visit. In the isolation ward #4 the schedule is very inconvenient. The only available time is between 14.00 and 16.00, right in the middle of the work day. Though there were not that many people willing to visit the wardens, so I had a chance to get an appointment on Wednesday.

On Wednesday I decided to call the judge Dudar’s secretary just in case the decision regarding our marriage was already made. «The decision is in your favor. You can come and collect the paper», I was told by the secretary. With this paper I went to the  investigatory isolation ward # 4 to meet the ward’s administration. Still I had no idea how I should enclose that paper. Though as I knew from my internet research, the permission granted by the judge was one of the main documents.

On my way to the ward I received a text message. «Your appointment is canceled due to the change in the working hours of the  investigatory isolation ward # 4»

Luckily I had my laptop with me, so that I could check the website of Federal Service for Execution of Punishment and find out what sort of changes had happened. It turned out that there were no changes whatsoever,  my appointment was nevertheless cancelled. I was determined to get  there in any case, so I simply made another appointment. That was a very good decision.

There was a bunch of angry people in front of the reception. Most of them were women. Everyone got the message saying that their appointment was cancelled. The people who worked in the ward excused themselves by saying that it was a mere  malfunction in the system.

One girl there was almost crying because she traveled all the way from Ryazan. She was supposed to be the first in the list  to visit the people who manage the investigatory isolation ward # 4. However, because of that glitch in the system her surname was erased from the list and there was nothing she could do about it. Whereas my surname was still on the list, since I re-registered half an hour before my appointment.

On Wednesdays the person representing the management of investigatory isolation ward # 4 is lieutenant colonel Maxim Ovechkin. Once he heard my story, he right away said,” You did everything wrong! You should have handed over your application for Civil Registry Office via us. Now you take the permission given to you by the judge, the copies of yours and fiancee’s passports and hand it in together with the applications for the Civil Registry Office”. “But what should we do, if the fiancée has already filled out the application and has already handed it in?” “ Well how come are we going to find out now to whom he gave the application?”. Lieutenant colonel Maxim Ovechkin made several calls, though it was not possible to find Ildar’s application. “ It’s okay, that is not a problem. I can always get a new blank from Civil Registry Office, it’s not that far away from here. The problem is that I don’t know how to find his passport. You are supposed to have it here in the  investigatory isolation ward # 4, right ?” Lieutenant colonel Maxim Ovechkin made a few more calls, though it turned out to be impossible to find passport, just like the application.

Once I got out of investigatory isolation ward # 4 , I tried to find out where Ildar’s passport can be.  In Basmanny court I was told that the passport was taken by a Federal Service for Execution of Punishment employee. Which means that the passport is most likely in the investigatory isolation ward # 4, though apparently no one wanted to make a copy of it for me. Luckily I somehow found a copy of Ildar’s passport at his home. Together with a bunch of various certificates.

The next morning I rushed to the Civil Registry Office , but they were not working on that day. Honestly speaking, I was just stunned. I really wanted to finish the application as soon as possible, but without the application documents from the Civil Registry Office  I could not do that. Luckily I could find the necessary application in the internet.

On Thursday Alexey Gorbachev,  another lieutenant colonel, was responsible for having appointments with visitor. He turned out to be tougher. First he did not believe that the permission that I had from the judge was real. » Why is it not printed on the specific paper from that court?», he asked me. Then he was suspicious about me having the real application documents from Civil Registry Office, since I got them from the internet. To be sure, I asked Ildar to fill out the original documents that I got from Civil Registry Office myself. What if indeed the ones I downloaded from the internet are indeed in any sense wrong .

Via my point of contact with Ildar, I was told, that he understood my message and was filling out the original documents from Civil Registry Office. Though, on the 29th of December in the investigatory isolation ward # 4 office I was told that they had not yet received the papers from Ildar. Alexey Gorbachev told me that normally it takes one month, but due to the holidays they might be able to do it by the New Year’s eve.