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Tajikistan: Prosecutor Charges 14 With Rape

Dushanbe, 8 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The Dushanbe prosecutor today charged 14 people, including Tajik law enforcement officials and an opposition politician, with raping minors. Prosecutor Khabibullo Vakhidov said those charged include members of the Interior Ministry and Security Ministry, businessmen, foreigners, and Kasym Rakhimov, a member of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

The 14 are specifically charged with raping children between 11 and 14 years of age.

Last month, Tajikistan's parliament eliminated the death penalty for women and reduced the number of crimes for which men can face the death penalty. Those found guilty of violence against minors continue to face the death penalty.