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Kazakh Prison Guard Convicted Of Raping Inmate

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

A court in Almaty has sentenced a former prison guard to nine years in jail in an inmate rape case.

The Turksib District Court on September 30 found Ruslan Khakimov guilty of raping inmate Natalya Slekishina and sentenced him the same day.

Slekishina, who gave a birth to a girl while in custody, filed a lawsuit against several guards of an Almaty detention center, accusing them of gang-raping her.

A DNA test revealed that Khakimov had fathered the child. The other prison guards were not charged but were brought to the trial that started on August 11 as witnesses.

Khakimov pleaded not guilty.

Slekishina, who continues to serve her prison term, said she is satisfied with the court's decision but added that she will work on bringing to justice other prison guards who she says raped her.

Slekishina's lawyer, Aiman Omarova, called the court's ruling precedent-setting and said her client will file a lawsuit against the Kazakh government for failure to provide secure conditions in custody.

Omarova added that rape in custody by prison guards can be defined as torture, stressing that Kazakhstan has international obligations to prevent torture in its penitentiary system.