Anton Mukhachov. Photo courtesy of his Facebook page
November 26, 2018
Life after Prison: Second-Class Citizens
I’ve already written about how a bank refused to exchange $100 for me.
Today, I was at notary’s office making out an ordinary power of attorney. The tired woman was typing my passport date into the computer when, suddenly, her eyes widened.
“It says here you’re on the list of terrorists!”
I corrected her.
“You probably mean the list of extremists. Rosfinmonitoring’s list and all that. What does it have to do with a power of attorney?” I asked.
“I can’t do anything for you,” she said, adding, “I’m obliged to report you!”
She did not issue me the power of attorney, ultimately. She said the program would not let her go any farther, and that all notaries used the same database.
I asked her what I should do. How can an adult get by in life without notarizing contracts and major transactions?
Here are my preliminary conclusions. I did time for a crime to which I did not confess. I was released from prison. Now, seemingly, I am a free man, a citizen and taxpayer. But I cannot open an ordinary account in a bank. I cannot ask a notary to notarize a transaction, agreement or deed. Theoretically, I will have problems finding a job due to the fact that it will be impossible for an employer to open a payroll account for me.
What should we call this state of affairs? An incentive to recividism? Or an incentive to emigrate?
P.S. When I asked both the bank and the notary to give me written explanations for their rejections, they claimed they were having technical difficulties with their systems.
P.P.S. When I was in prison, I had no problems drawing up powers of attorney, and I had my own bank account.
Thanks to Vladimir Akimenkov for the heads-up. Translated by the Russian Reader
I have published several articles in the past on Rosfinmonitoring’s list of “extremists” and its crippling effects on people’s lives:
- “Leonid Volkov: The List,” 5 August 2018
- “You’ve Lost Control Again,” 27 August 2017
- “No Poem Is Illegal, No Poet Is Extremist,” 17 January 2017
- “Police Officers Are a ‘Social Group’ in Russia,” 31 May 2016
- “The Case of Ekaterina Vologzheninova: Watch What You ‘Like,'” 21 October 2015
- “The ‘Gay Terrorist Underground’ in Khabarovsk: The Case of Andrei Marchenko,” 30 September 2015