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2019-02-01

Tajik policeman sentenced to 13 years for committing torture

AFP

DUSHANBE -- A Tajik policeman has been jailed for 13 years for crimes including torture, a Tajik official said Thursday (January 31), a rare acknowledgement of the use of violence in custody.

A court in Khujand issued the sentence to Shukhrat Shamsiddinov earlier this week in a closed-door trial, a court spokesman told AFP.

The officer was found guilty of torturing Komil Khodjanazarov, detained in 2017 on suspicion of participating in a banned organisation, and extorting money from him, he said.

Khodjanazarov later reportedly killed himself.

The prisoner claimed in a video clip he recorded following his detention that law enforcement officers released him after he paid them a bribe, according to a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Tajik branch.

The same report said that Khodjanazarov committed suicide after being summoned to the police for further interrogation.

Another police officer and an internal security official were sentenced to 13 and 12 years, respectively, as part of the same criminal case last year, added the Khujand court spokesman.

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