Prison blog of Ildar Dadin’s fiancee. The way of life in prison. 23rd of 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

This week I received the second letter from Ildar. In this letter he finally tells a little bit about his life in the investigatory isolation ward where he is kept. He says that he is trying to build a strict time schedule for every day; it includes physical exercises, walks, reading and food…

“In order to avoid getting depressed due to the tough situation I am in, everyday I try to do physical exercises,  then every day, without exceptions, I study law, the rest of the day I spend replying to the letters I receive”, says Ildar. He has already received twenty letters.

“Here I do not waste my time at all. I don’t even have a moment to read any fiction books.” When he has time to read, he spends it studying law, “ I want to be better prepared to protect myself from the total lawlessness that is evident in my case”

Though it is very hard to find some time to study law. Most of his time Ildar spends helping others to stand for their rights. “Since among the people who are kept with me, I have the most significant knowledge about law, I spend a lot of time helping fellow inmates with filing complaints, making applications, etc… Already now I want to implement in practice the human rights defender skills”

Even before his conviction Ildar was thinking a lot about how he can help people apart from standing for their right to freedom of speech. He was inclined to become either a lawyer or a human rights defender. Together with me he even attended one of the meetings with activists of one human rights organization. Even though he was not inspired by the work of this particular organization.

From his letter I learned what Ildar is doing, though there is pretty much nothing about the conditions in prison in general. That made me start worrying. In his letter as well as to the lawyers that come to visit him he says that in the investigatory isolation ward it is all “fine”. Though he never mentioned what exactly this “ fine ” means. Ildar never complains and always goes through troubles stoically. As a real man he will never admit that he is hungry, tired or cold.

It thought that if he does not say anything about the conditions there, it means that there is something wrong. So I started searching for details of the prison life in that investigatory isolation ward from other people…

Last week people from the Public Monitoring Committee visited investigatory isolation ward #4. So I decided to talk to them. One of the members of the committee — Sergei Sorokin, told me that there is enough space in the cell where Ildar is kept, it is even possible to do some physical exercises. There is a big table and few benches, so that one can eat there without troubles. The last part is quite important. Ildar told me of course that the food is fine, but… For a dinner they have, for example, just a salad made of carrots and a cabbage, boiled potatoes and a piece of herring.

Also, there are not enough beds. There are only eight beds for ten people. As a matter of fact, this situation is quite normal in Moscow investigatory isolation wards this year. Ildar sleeps on some sort of a hammock. Which can actually be a good thing, since according to Sorokin the beds in the isolation ward have big holes in them.

I wanted to file a complaint, so that Ildar can get a normal bed, though I was told that there are zero chances of getting one. There are no extra beds. I hope, though, that our appeal to the court will succeed. Since there is not enough space for all the inmates, then maybe they will set free those that are innocent ?

P.S. Today after I made this post I received a letter in which Judge Dudar states that she does not have anything against me and Ildar getting married.