A visually impaired activist was detained during protests in St. Petersburg. Here is his conversation with the police. This is the text of Mediazone. We publish it as a sign of solidarity with Sergei Smirnov
Dmitry Gluz, a 30-year-old activist from Tver, has been a disabled person of the first group for five years, he has Leber’s neuropathy – a disease in which a person practically ceases to see. The remaining vision is still enough for Dmitry to navigate in space and move independently. During the protests on January 31, he was detained at Sennaya Square in St. Petersburg, and then for 13 hours he was held at the police station No. 19 of the Vyborg district. For a long time, the employees did not want to believe that Gluse almost did not see, and made fun of him. The detainee recorded all this on a dictaphone – “Mediazona” publishes selected passages from conversations with the police.Dear Readers! This is the text of our colleagues from Mediazona. We publish it as a sign of solidarity with its chief editor Sergei Smirnov, who was arrested for retweeting. This is what Meduza’s editors
think about the Smirnov situation.
First policeman. What did you do near the Sennaya metro station?
Dmitry. I would like to use the 51st article and say that, firstly, I have the first group of disabilities and by law I cannot be kept here for more than three hours . My rights have already been violated.
First policeman. With the first group of disabilities, you can stay here.
Dmitry. I can’t, no longer than three hours.
First policeman. Okay, this is your position.
Dmitry. This is not my position – this is the law.
First policeman.No, this is your position.
Dmitry. This is the law, you are breaking it.
The police ask Gluz to name a specific article of the law that they are breaking. He replies that he does not remember the exact number.
First policeman. Let’s start with the fact that administrative arrest and detention on suspicion of committing a crime are two different things. In the know, right? Administrative arrest – yes, the first and second groups, persons who are pregnant … more precisely, women … persons who have children under the age of four – yes, they cannot …
Dmitry. You cannot arrest [at all], and you cannot detain more than three hours.
First policeman. Administrative arrest and detention are different things, you do not understand this. You just got it into your head that you have an administrative arrest.
Dmitry.My lawyer is at the entrance, he is not allowed. My right to defense has also been violated.
Second policeman. Did he present a warrant?
Dmitry. I think yes.
Second policeman. Well, if he showed a warrant, then they would let him in. If there is no warrant, then no.
Dmitry. He has a warrant.
Second policeman. Well, let him present it to the person on duty.
Dmitry. Well, go to the duty officer, tell me.
Second policeman. I have nothing more to do, walk here!
Dmitry. Let me call him. Can?
First policeman. Call. You have the right to do so. If you have not previously contacted him.
He calls the lawyer Dmitry Semyonov from the “Apology of Protest” – he replies that he is standing downstairs in the department, but the person on duty does not let him through. After a while, the lawyer will leave, leaving a complaint about the non-admission and consulting Glyuz by phone. Meanwhile, the police are demanding that Dmitry show a certificate of disability. He replies that he had a certificate from VTEK with him , but it was taken by an employee of the department who did not introduce herself.
Third police officer. What is your disability group?
Third police officer. What’s the matter?
Dmitry. Leber’s mitochondrial optic neuropathy, mutation 11 778.
Third police officer. And what does that mean?
Dmitry.I am visually impaired. My vision is five percent, I am almost blind.
Third police officer. Oh, and that’s all, just a vision, or what?
Third police officer. Close your eyes like this, relax, and that’s it.
Second policeman. You keep yourself here more.
Dmitry. It is you who are holding me back, not me.
Second policeman. I’m not delaying you, to be honest, I don’t give a shit – what you are, what you are not.
First policeman. We are sitting here talking, no one is delaying.
Dmitry. Can I pick up the certificate then?
Second policeman. Well, to whom did you pass it on?
Dmitry. Well, some girl, an employee in uniform, with blond hair.
Second policeman. And the reasons for the detention had to be asked from the person who shoved you into the AvtoVAZ . What, didn’t ask? Or were you just raised?
THIRD COP (mockingly). I haven’t had time to contact a lawyer yet … And now, *** [aphid], article such and such, *** [aphid]. Now the lawyer will sort things out. Is he a free lawyer or an acquaintance?
Third police officer. Lawyer, I say – free, friend?
Dmitry. 51st article .
The cops laugh.
First policeman. Are you aware of the 51st article?
Third police officer. He walked by, you know?
First policeman. Walked by with a poster …
Dmitry. If you’re interested, I was standing on Sennaya Square, waiting for friends.
Third police officer. So why then complicate your life and for us?
One of the policemen approaches Dmitry and once again asks what kind of certificate he had with him, why he refused to be photographed upon arrival at the department, and what was the purpose of his visit to St. Petersburg. Gluz replies that he came to visit friends.
Fourth police officer. How did you arrive?
Dmitry. Let’s wait for my lawyer and talk.
Fourth police officer. Do you think he will come in here, or what?
Dmitry. He has to come in, he has a warrant.
Fourth police officer. Which one?
Dmitry. How do I know which one?
Fourth police officer. Well, you are on the 51st, you are so noisy, fucking. Where is your pension certificate, since when have you been a disabled person of the first group?
Dmitry. Since June 2016.
Fourth police officer. Where is the disability? Your pension?
Dmitry. At your employee’s.
Fourth police officer. She only has some kind of certificate that you presented.
Dmitry. Ok, I have one more help.
The third policeman ( points to an object ). And here it is written, you see?
Dmitry. No, I don’t see.
Third police officer. And why did you take away your eyes, you didn’t even have time to look?
Dmitry. I just don’t see, there is a white spot.
Third police officer. Where are your glasses?
Dmitry. Are we on “you” or “you”?
Third police officer. No misters”. You are not so old that I talk to you on “you”.
Dmitry. And how old are you?
Third police officer. I’m thirty.
Dmitry. Me too.
Third police officer. Well.
Fourth police officer. Why don’t you ask me that question? I’m 47. I’m talking to you on “you”.
Dmitry. Well, we are with you “you”. Whoever wants it, whoever is more comfortable.
Third police officer. Not, just if you have vision, you have to have either glasses or lenses. So I don’t see, let’s say. Who issued the certificate that you are disabled – the state?
Dmitry. Of course, the state.
Third police officer. Today is Sunday, today cannot be reached . Tomorrow, it turns out, we will contact you in the morning. If they really did give out, then there are no questions.
Dmitry. There is also such a certificate ( passes it to the police ).
Third police officer. What is NSO?
Dmitry. A set of social services.
Third police officer. What is the monthly payment?
Third police officer. What is the monthly payment?
Dmitry. Why should I answer this?
Third police officer. So I’m just curious. Maybe I also have eyesight, I can’t see well already. AND?
Dmitry. I will not answer.
THIRD COP ( angry ). Let him down! Let him sit and wait.
Fourth police officer. Have you received [information] in Tver?
Dmitry. In Tver.
Third police officer. Which street?
Employees confer, ask Dmitry about his marital status and education.WHO ARE THESE COPS?
Third police officer. Have you been involved before? AND? Attracted somewhere?
Third police officer. Well, before that they brought you to the department?
Dmitry. Let’s talk to my lawyer.
Third police officer. What does a lawyer have to do with it? I tell you: have you been in the territorial departments before? Earlier, to the present day of his … life.
First policeman. Vanya, everyone, calm down! Don’t waste your nerves. Are you doing profiles?
Third police officer. Not. What are the profiles?
First policeman. They said to do the questionnaires!
Third police officer. Are you serious?
Fourth police officer. Do you have dependent children?
First policeman. That’s all, leave him alone, you don’t see – he doesn’t want to talk to you.
One of the policemen asks Dmitry for his phone number.
Third police officer. Nobody told me about it. And where can I get it, where can I find [questionnaires]?
First policeman. Where – they are below.
Third police officer. So they also need to take pictures?
First policeman. No, they take pictures of them all below. You just make up the questionnaires, and that’s it. Then you send it to the headquarters.
The policeman, meanwhile, hands Dmitry a document to sign.
Dmitry. I will not subscribe to what I cannot read. A lawyer will help.
First policeman. Well, call the witnesses, they are standing below.
Dmitry. So I … I can’t trust them! Let’s wait for a lawyer!
Third police officer. Fuck, *** [aphid], two witnesses, refuses to sign – and that’s it, *** [aphid]. Delov, *** [aphid], let him sit, *** [on fig].
First policeman. Let’s go.
Dmitry. Do you understand what I can’t see?
First policeman. Well, you don’t stumble on the door, you see. What “but”? Are you saying you have a white spot?
Dmitry. In principle, it is so.
First policeman. Well, you see the ladders!
Dmitry. Yes, but I don’t see your face. And I did not see the face of the employee who took the certificate.
First policeman. Why don’t you have glasses, lenses … I don’t know …
Dmitry. Because this is a disease that leads to loss of central vision due to optic nerve atrophy, and a scotoma is formed in the central region of vision.
Dmitry is taken to the assembly hall, where other detainees are sitting. Three hours later, at about 21 pm, the same employees called him back to his office.
Dmitry. Where should I [sit]?
First policeman. Somewhere.
Dmitry. Can I sit on the sofa, can I?
Third police officer. No, you can’t go to the sofa.
Dmitry. And the chair? With whom to communicate?
First policeman. What’s the last name?
First policeman. Have you been delivered earlier?
Dmitry. I will not speak without a lawyer, he was not allowed.
First policeman. Was he here?
Second policeman. Did not have.
Second policeman. Did not have.
Dmitry. Was, Daniil Semyonov.
Third police officer. Why did he leave, if he was?
Dmitry. He was not allowed.
Third police officer. Did you say he came up?
Third police officer. Who did you tell?
Dmitry. I told you here.
Third police officer. When you spoke, you said that you just called him!
Dmitry. I called him, he said that he was coming to the attendant! When I was sitting here.
THIRD COP (in an absent tone ). No, I remember that you called him and he said he was coming.
Dmitry. No, he approached the attendant at that moment.
Third police officer. Do you have a phone charger?
Dmitry. Why should I answer this?
Third police officer. I mean, why should you answer? Have a charger?
Third police officer. Poorly. Why were you out of breath – did you run, or what?
Third police officer. Oh, you are filming, or what? Take the phone away. I see how you hold your phone.
Second policeman. You provoke us to questions, why are you filming?
Dmitry. I don’t take pictures.
Third police officer. Put your phone in your backpack!
Dmitry. Yes please.
Second policeman. This is not the first day we have been working.
First policeman. What did you do in the summer of 2020 in June in St. Petersburg?
Dmitry. I came to my friends.
First policeman. Why did you have an administrative offense?
Dmitry. I didn’t have an administrative offense.
First policeman. It was.
First policeman. You had an administrative offense.
Dmitry. There was no court – there was no. The court rejected the protocols, because there was no corpus delicti.WHAT ARE THE PROTOCOLS?
Third police officer. Have you been to court?
Dmitry. I haven’t been to court.
Fourth police officer. Of course not!
Dmitry ( grinning ). There was simply no court.
Fourth police officer. You think so. And the purpose of your visit to St. Petersburg? June and now?
Dmitry. I have many friends in St. Petersburg.
Fourth police officer. Where did you get the certificate?
Dmitry. In VTEK.
Fourth police officer. When?
Dmitry. The first time I made out in June 2016, the second, it seems, in June 2017.
Fourth police officer. Purpose of registration?
Dmitry. Receiving pension and social services.
Fourth police officer. What social services do you use?
Dmitry. Free travel by electric trains.
Fourth police officer. Is that all?
Dmitry. I refused the rest, yes.
Fourth police officer. Are you getting compensation?
Dmitry. Which one?
Fourth police officer. Well, for train tickets.
Dmitry. Well, this is it, yes.
Fourth police officer. Why pay then, buy at full cost? As a disabled person, you have the right to free travel!
Dmitry. No, I only have free travel on suburban transport.
Fourth police officer. Why do you pay for it too? “Lastochka” is also free for disabled people !
Dmitry. So she’s not a suburban, she’s a long-distance journey!
Fourth police officer. “Swallow” … don’t lie to me, dear! I also use it! Train tickets … train “Swallow” is called! ( phone rings ) Mess!
The third policeman approaches Dmitry with his passport.
Third police officer. When was this photo taken?
Dmitry. It is written there.
Third Police Officer ( roughly ). What is written here? This is when the passport got written. And you could have taken a photograph at the age of 10. And bring it in 2011.
Dmitry. I did it when I got my passport.
The third policeman ( shows the passport to a colleague ). Here you see – dark hair, and now bald.
Dmitry. Well, old age is not a joy.
Third police officer. 30 years old – what old age? Where do you work?
Dmitry. Unemployed, retired.
Third police officer. I mean, a pensioner? And, do you receive for disability and live on it?
Dmitry. Yes, I am study.
Fourth police officer. How do you study?
Dmitry. I am learning programming on my own.
Fourth police officer. For the visually impaired?
Dmitry. Simple programming.
Fourth police officer. Where are your escorts? How is a cane and a guide dog for a visually impaired person of the first group?
Dmitry. There is no such thing, there is no need.
Fourth police officer. How do you get around with such a disability?
Fourth police officer. Well, I see that you are not legally disabled. How do you see?
Dmitry. I have a scotoma – a spot in the central area of vision. It arises as a result of atrophy of the optic nerve, and I see something like shining the sun or a lamp into the eyes strongly and removing it. For you, this effect will go away immediately, but for me it never goes away. You can move around in this way.
Fourth police officer. But you don’t see anything. Can you see me?
Dmitry. I can hardly see your face, I can see the outlines of your eyes.
Fourth police officer. What’s in my hands?
Dmitry. Well, apparently it’s a phone. I see a black object.
Fourth police officer. No, it’s a camera ( thinks ). Or a video camera. This is a camcorder.
Dmitry. Well, I see a black object, there are some reflections – apparently, there is glass.
Fourth police officer. Which side? The phone is matte!
Dmitry. Well I saw reflections of light.
Fourth police officer. I don’t know what you can see there, on matt …
Third police officer. No, with this vision, how can he move along the street?
Fourth police officer. Yes, it cannot. I bought a VTEC certificate … Tomorrow we will find out. Sit, rest with us, spend some time with us. ******** [liar]. What’s your mom’s name?
Dmitry. 51st article.
Fourth police officer. So we will call her to come for you!
Dmitry. Am I not 18?
Fourth police officer. You don’t. You are a disabled person of the first group.
Dmitry. My mom doesn’t need to be stressed.
Fourth police officer. Why are you annoying everyone, but for some reason you don’t want mom?
Dmitry. I’m not bothering anyone.
Fourth police officer. How do you write SMS messages, please tell us?
Dmitry. Using the screen zoom. This is the technology.
Dmitry talks about the special features of the phone screen.
Fourth police officer. And will you see the letters when magnified three times? Well, ******** [liar]! You can’t see me, let alone the letters!
Dmitry. Are you an ophthalmologist, right?
Fourth police officer. I am not an ophthalmologist, I also had a vision problem, I read and understood.
Dmitry. Very representative. Do you know what Leber’s mitochondrial optic neuropathy is?
Fourth police officer. ****** [delight]! I don’t know and don’t want to know.
Dmitry. Well, figure it out, read Wikipedia – you will find out.
Fourth police officer. I didn’t even remember how you just swore there.
Dmitry. You swear and use obscenities in a public place.
Fourth police officer. In what public? This is my personal account – as I want to be here, I talk! Here you are my guest, as I want, and I talk!
They are silent for a while.
Fourth police officer. Does mom know where you went? Well, give me a phone, I’ll call her.
Dmitry. I won’t.
Third police officer. Yes, let him sit in a cell with a bum! Does mom know that you are disabled? Look, we have sent a request – the answer will come in a few days. Until we receive an answer to your request, you will be here. But if your mother now confirms that you are really disabled …
Dmitry. I’ll discuss this with my lawyer, okay? This is how it works.
He takes out his phone and demonstrates to the police how the screen zoom works.
Fourth police officer. How, again?
Dmitry. Here’s a triple tap.
Fourth police officer. And what, is it more convenient for you to type?
Dmitry. Of course, it is more convenient ( notices that the policeman is taking it off ). Let me take you off too, can I?
Fourth police officer. Can Masha by the thigh. You can fuck ********* [fuck].
Dmitry calls a lawyer to get advice. Hangs up the phone.
Dmitry. Why are you going to call [mom] and not me?
Fourth police officer. You can call, give a phone and talk to dick knows who. How do we know if this is mom or who?
Dmitry. How do you know if I give you a number?
Fourth police officer. We’ll break through, don’t worry.
Dmitry ( doomed ). Well, let’s dictate to whom?
Dmitry Glyuz’s mother confirmed her son’s diagnosis to the police by phone, after which the officers took him out of the office and into the hall to the other detainees. There he spent about five more hours, after which they drew up a protocol on participation in an uncoordinated rally (part 1 of article 20.2.2 of the Administrative Code). From the department where Glyuz was taken at about 15:00 on January 31, he left only at four in the morning. Dmitry’s certificate of disability was still returned.