tisdag, augusti 21, 2007

Yes I did go to Tajikistan and Yes I did end up in a Tajik prison

Gästblogg från SACO Studentråds verksamehtsrevisor Hanieh Heidarabadi, som just nu är i Tajukistan.

Maybe I had it coming; it’s not wise walking around without documents or copies of expired visas as foreigners in Tajikistan. The police, which are just everywhere, are allowed to stop us and ask for documents = asking for bribe. So I and the guys of course get stopped ONLY 5 minutes from the guesthouse at 1 am. Not really thinking that the copy of my passport showed that the visa expired a week ago, I hand it over to the police. And so did the guys (although Joe did not have ANY documents).

After a lot of hassle and waiting around, they insist to take us to the police station. Of course we were not planning to go anywhere in this land of corrupted police and after an hour of waiting around on the street we told them that they either call for a police car to take us to the station or let us go. The time was now 2.10 am. After some more waiting around the police men stop a taxi, and surely we did refuse to get into a taxi. No if they want to arrest us, then we want a proper police car. Shortly after, a police jeep (with its blue and red lights on!) came to pick us up. They put the four of us in the back and of course the both officers wanted to come to the station and monitor the arrest, so one of them also get in the back (now with 5 people). It was pretty hard not laughing, and occasionally we did burst out in laughter.

At the police station we managed to attract a crowd of curious people all wanting to get a peek at our copies of expired visas. And the guy in charge of registering people did not seem too amused to have to do all this extra work it meant for him. Time now: almost 3 am. As I was the only one able to speak Farsi and did my best to sound annoyed. But they were more interested in where we were from and what we studied. After 3 am in the morning I did not feel like small-talking anymore and I did have occasional burst outs.

Finally after telling them that we WOULD NOT pay any money and that they have to release us after 3 hours in custody they let us go. Time now: almost 4 am. The best part of the whole experience is probably the pictures we took post-prison experience. And as soon as I can I will post them!

Freedom has never been this appreciated

1 kommentar:

Anonym sa...

you can just imagine how many hours / days a tajik would spend in a policestation in Europe if caught without visa...