Accessibility links

Last Fugitive From Tajik Jailbreak Caught


Azam Ziyoev was known as Azam Panjara (Azam Bars) because during the 1992-97 civil war he headed a prison for captives of the United Tajik Opposition forces.

Azam Ziyoev was known as Azam Panjara (Azam Bars) because during the 1992-97 civil war he headed a prison for captives of the United Tajik Opposition forces.

DUSHANBE -- The last of the 25 convicts who escaped last year from a high-security prison in Tajikistan has been captured, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Mahmadullo Asadulloev told RFE/RL that Azam Ziyoev, 42, a brother of slain former Emergency Situations Minister Mirzo Ziyoev, was captured over the weekend in a cemetery in the southern Panj district that borders Afghanistan.

He was reportedly armed with a gun and a grenade.

Azam Ziyoev was known as Azam Panjara (Azam Bars) because during the civil war (1992-97) he headed a prison for captives of the United Tajik Opposition forces that were commanded by Mirzo Ziyoev.

Following the 1997 peace agreement that ended the civil war, Azam Ziyoev served for several years as chairman of the local council in the Childara community of the eastern district of Tavildara.

Mirzo Ziyoev was killed in Tavildara in 2009, though it remains unclear who was behind his death.

Mirzo Ziyoev in 2006

Mirzo Ziyoev in 2006

Azam Ziyoev and dozens of other family members were subsequently arrested and charged with membership in an organized criminal group, illegal possession of arms, attempting to overthrow the government, and other serious crimes.

The spectacular escape from the National Security Committee's maximum-security prison in Dushanbe took place on August 23, 2010. Four of the escapees were Russian citizens, four were Afghans, two were Uzbek citizens, and the other 15 were Tajiks.

Eight of the fugitives have been killed since the jailbreak and the rest captured.

In May, a Tajik court sentenced four of them to life imprisonment. Three others were jailed for 30 years.

Read more in Tajik here
XS
SM
MD
LG