The 72-year-old Aktau resident spent his working life in a uranium-processing plant. He never trained as a lawyer, but complains no legal professional is willing to take on the cases of the forgotten oilmen of this western Kazakh province.
Forgotten, that is, until a protest simmering for seven months in the nearby town of Zhanaozen erupted into clashes with riot police that killed at least 16 people exactly a month ago.
Police used live rounds on crowds that set local government and oil company headquarters ablaze, sabotaging a concert that was supposed to celebrate 20 years of independence. Residents told of relatives being beaten and grabbed from the streets.