Июн 01.2022

Marat Ishenaly uulu — strength of character as a force of life

Marat is only 21 years old, and he has lived a life full of incredible events, meetings with interesting people, many years of work and search for himself.

Bishkek is his hometown, he remembers how he spent his childhood in the yard with other boys. When he was 12, he had friends who taught him to smoke, with them he tried alcohol for the first time. By nature, Marat was defiant, stubborn, never retreated, if it was necessary to fight, he was fighting, he always knew how to stand up for himself. He was into boxing and used his sports skills in his communication with the boys. Now he remembers this unsportsmanlike conduct in his youth with a smile. "I was harsh, I tested my boxing skills on the street. I understand that sometimes I behaved incorrectly, I should have chosen another path. Everything was allright at home, but the environment had a strong influence on me. I was learning to survive back then."

It took him a long time to learn to survive. The guy's life was greatly influenced by the family situation: his parents were divorced, Marat and his older brother lived with their father Ishen Aibashov. He recalls that his father was strict and taught his sons to take life seriously. They became independent early, they all knew how to do the housework, they started working at an early age. "When I was a child, my friends' mothers used to call them home to eat, when they were playing in the yard, but no one called me, I was left alone. I didn't know how to communicate with girls, I learned to do it later." The stubborn boy wanted to seem strong and would not admit that he lacked maternal care and love. His father did not get married after the divorce. He raised his sons so that they always knew that they had a mother. Unfortunately, she died in 2020 from the effects of coronavirus.

He studied poorly at school. He says he "didn't study at all". "I didn't like school, because children there were from ordinary normal families, and we had financial difficulties, although my father tried his best and worked as a taxi driver. Because of my behavior, the inspector of the Juvenile Affairs Inspectorate (JAI) came to school every day, his name was also Marat, he played an important role in my life."

Due to his difficult character and the bad company he was in, at the age of 15 Marat was accused of extortion. He explained that it was not his fault, the crime was committed by his friends, and he was dragged along. Due to his age and other circumstances, Marat did not plead not guilty and received a suspended sentence — the Sverdlovsk District Court of Bishkek found him guilty and sentenced him to 3 years and 7 months, replacing the imprisonment with a suspended sentence.

Having faced the first obstacles of serving a suspended sentence, Marat began to think about his life. While his peers and friends were moving forward in terms of training and athletic achievements, he was slowing down. "Since I needed to constantly report to the police department at my district of residence, I could not go to sports competitions. I tried to get a job, and the first thing employers demanded was a certificate of non-conviction. As soon as they found out about my suspended sentence, they rejected me."

Life seemed to be flying by, and the guy was standing in the middle of the road and couldn't move ahead. His father and brother supported him, saying that he should be patient. His suspended sentence ended at the end of 2019. Those friends who dragged him along had grown up, settled down, matured. They remain his friends.

In 2017, JAI inspector Marat brought the stubborn guy to the PA Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" to participate in a camp for children from vulnerable families who are in conflict with the law and in a difficult life situation. "Inspector Marat came to our place, told us about the camp, I didn't understand it and immediately refused to go, but he convinced me. Marat was always worried about my fate, he understood that I needed support then, otherwise I would not have stopped... On the way to the camp, which was at the Issyk-Kul Lake, I first met Lira Ismailova, Raikhan Absalamovna and other employees of the organization. I was the oldest among the camp participants, they seemed to be children compared to me. I didn't really participate in the activities of the camp, I didn't even swim due to the consequences of boxing, — I had problems with my ears, so I didn't go into the water. I.e., I was pretty aloof. But I watched, analyzed things and began to change."

In the camp, Marat began to change his attitude to many things, he began to treat girls differently, which had a positive effect on relations with them. After going to the camp, he felt that he had found people who understood him, tried to help him, were always happy to see him, he felt needed. It was the team of Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan. He often came to the organization, shared his news, listened to the people who had become close to him.

After the 9th grade, he was thinking of entering the professional lyceum No. 10 named after S. Chokmorov. However, people around him told him that he would not succeed, he simply would not enter the lyceum because of his behavior, so Marat did not even try to apply. After visiting the camp and talking with the staff of the human rights organization, he began to think about getting an education again. He applied and became a student of a one-year course in cooking at the state-financed department.

"I liked everything at the lyceum, I liked to study there! I took my studies seriously, I was a diligent, disciplined student, and did not miss a single class. I became a student group leader, demonstrated responsibility. I settled down, so to say."

He had his internship at the Syi Ordo restaurant. He says he put all his energy into cooking, mastered all the complexities of this art. After his internship he almost immediately began working as a cook. He worked a chef in three restaurants. 3 months ago, he became a chef at the Salkyn Jai restaurant in the village of Voenno-Antonovka near Bishkek.

Marat is able to work hard and skillfully invests his earnings: he bought a car and a house for his family, he also plans to get married. He says that he knows both how to work and how to relax.

"The most important thing in the work of a chef is responsibility, and experience can be acquired with time. It is necessary to arrange the work in the kitchen so that each employee accurately and correctly performs his duties. I like my job — a cook is always in demand, he always has money and does not starve. I have to work until late at night. A restaurant depends on a chef."

During 21 years of his life, Marat passed some serious tests, went off the right path, admitted his mistakes, did not break down, found the strength to change his attitude, and then his life began to change for the better. He says that sports, which gives him confidence and health, helps him to survive. "It's good that my problems with the law happened when I was young, I have dealt with them. I'd like to become a lawyer, an attorney in the future to defend people like me. Sport helps build character and strong health. I used to box. I have been awarded the sports category of the Candidate for Master of Sports in ultimate fighting. At the age of 17 I became a prize-winner of the Asian Championship in Astana. Now I practice boxing to keep fit. Since 2015, I have had my signature sign — a thin pigtail on the back of my head, many people recognize me by it."

Giving advice to young people who are in search of themselves, he reminds them that our environment has an important role in forming our personality. Right now he forms his own social circle. In his youth, he got into the company of teenagers and got a criminal record. After going to the camp, he began communicating with human rights activists — then, he got an education and found a good job. He is grateful to all the people who have been and still are in his life.



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Feedback from our focus groups



Experience should be attached to a law degree

Shakhboz Latipov, 24 y.o., young lawyer: “When I came to BDK for an internship, I had no experience in legal and human rights activities. Together with experienced senior colleagues, I began to attend trials, studied documents. Gradually my supervisor Khusanbai Saliev began to trust me the preparation of documents, carefully checked them and gave practical advice. Experience comes with time and cases you work on. Every day dozens of people who need help come to us, many of them are from socially vulnerable groups: the poor, large families, elderly citizens. A lawyer in a human rights organization sometimes acts as a psychologist, it is important for him to be able to maintain professionalism and show empathy. At the end of 2019, I successfully passed the exam to get the right to start working as attorney and now I work on cases as an attorney. I turn to my colleagues for help on complex issues, they always give me their advice. This is one of the strengths of the organization: there is support and understanding here.”



Organization unites regions

Feruza Amadalieva, social worker, leader, teacher: “TOT from BDK is a great opportunity to get acquainted with participants from different regions, we continue to communicate on social media and when we meet at events, as close friends, we have such warm relations! At the events, I improved my knowledge, systematized it, clarified how to apply it in practice. I really like the training modules and the way the system of training and practice is built: role-playing games, theory, discussions. Each person expresses himself/herself. I have become a leader for other vulnerable women, I try to help them and engage them in such events.” Feruza Amadalieva is a regular participant of many BDK events, she invites the BDK lawyers to provide legal advice to vulnerable women.



I became confident

In summer of 2019, Nuriza Talantbek kyzy took an active part in conducting regional screenings of documentaries, helped with organizational issues during the campaign dedicated to the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, participated in trips, and did the TOT on women's leadership. She used to be a migrant, worked for an NGO in Osh, and now works in Bishkek in the service industry. She calls her participation in the TOT “an invaluable experience”: “I first attended such an event, and received exactly the information that I needed, for which I am sincerely grateful to the facilitators. I experienced very difficult issues in my life, and thanks to that knowledge, I was able to overcome them, I persevered! After the TOT, I became more confident, began to better understand the essence of human rights, and learned to defend my interests.”



The defendant has passed away. The work on his rehabilitation continues.

The case of Shukurullo Kochkarov shows that work on complex cases continues for many years. After the torture he was subjected to in 2010, he became disabled. We managed to get acquittal on one of the charges; the work is ongoing on achieving his rehabilitation and recognition as a victim of torture in order for compensation to be paid. Trials continue without Shukurullo Kochkarov - he died on 2 August 2019. His interests are represented by his father, Saidaziz Kochkarov, who also has a visual disability. “For many years, we have been supported by the employees of BDK, they have been handling the case of my son, they brought him to court because he couldn’t walk on his own, they constantly help our family: my wife and I underwent rehabilitation, they have helped my son by providing him with medicines, they provide all kinds of help”.



Comprehensive support for victims of torture

Resident of the Kara-Suu district, Dilyor Jumabaev, has extensive experience in dealing with law enforcement agencies. In 2010, he was accused of possessing firearms, and thanks to the work of lawyers, he was acquitted. Two years later, his house was first searched in order to find materials of an extremist nature, but nothing was found. In 2014, he was accused of possessing extremist materials. In court, the prosecutor requested 15 years in prison; the court sentenced him to 6 years. A few years later he was released on parole. “I am grateful to the lawyers of BDK for their expert legal assistance. I participated in a rehabilitation program for victims of torture. When I encounter violations, I recommend contacting this organization.”


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