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Tajikistan: Court Gives Death Sentence In Murder Case

Dushanbe, 16 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A Dushanbe city court today sentenced 27-year-old Rahim Kalandarov to death for killing the head of state television and radio in May 2000. Kalandarov pleaded not guilty to the charge and said he had been under "strong pressure" by investigators to confess. Claims of use of torture by Tajik law-enforcement officials have been cited by human rights organizations in the past. Kalandarov said he would appeal the decision.

Saifullo Rahimov, the head of state television and radio, was shot near his home on 20 May 2000. Though the court found Kalandarov was the killer, the prosecution did not learn who ordered the murder.