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Kyrgyz Ombudsman Saw Signs Of Abuse On Inmate's Body

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun said in parliament on January 18 that the body of an inmate who died in a Bishkek detention center shows signs of violence, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Nurbek Alimbaev, 25, was pronounced dead on January 17, one day after violent unrest in Bishkek's detention center No. 1 left dozens of inmates and some security officers wounded.

Kyrgyz security forces were brought inside the detention center to quell the unrest. More than 30 prisoners were severely beaten during the violence and four were transferred in serious condition to a health clinic at detention center No. 47.

Prison officials insist Alimbaev died of an illegal drug overdose.

Akun said in parliament that he was present at the autopsy performed on Alimbaev's body and saw that his head had bruises and his body had abrasions. He added that his sources told him Alimbaev was forcibly given an injection and fell asleep on January 16, the day of the unrest.

Akun said the "special operation held in the detention center was organized to frighten the inmates. ... It is important to preserve internal order in any penitentiary or detention center, but not in that way."

Meanwhile, State Penitentiary Service chief Sheishenbek Baizakov said in parliament on January 18 that the operation was carried out in accordance with all regulations and that Alimbaev had died of an overdose.

Baizakov also said that inmates in several of the country's penitentiaries have started hunger strikes.

Read more in Kyrgyz here