After joining striking oil workers in Kazakhstan, human rights defender Roza Tuletaeva was arrested and put on trial by the authorities. She was sentenced to 7 years after an unfair trial and has suffered torture while imprisoned, and she still is on trial in a separate case.


I was stunned – I felt dead inside. I couldn’t talk – I couldn’t believe what was happening.  Journalists had been blocked by the security forces from coming to the town, so I called the ones I knew and told them about the crackdown.  This was our only connection to the outside world.
They came for me at home and I was arrested along with 37 other strikers.
During my interrogation a man standing behind me put a gun to my head while someone else in the room said – kill her.
A young man called Ruslan with a scar on his face tortured me.
He put a plastic bag over my head and I lost consciousness.  They ripped out my hair.
They wanted to silence me and so I'm here now in jail  – 7 years reduced to 5 on appeal.
My entire family has been put under pressure. Last summer my daughter Aliya was arrested on charges of assaulting a fellow worker and held for seven days. They are trying to take my house, my children.
The events in Zhanaozen became a symbol – a terrible, tragic symbol but also something that cannot be ignored.  Everyone in the country knows Zhanaozen and knows what happened here.