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Kazakh Prison Warden Arrested For Extortion

KUSHMURUN, Kazakhstan -- The warden of a notorious Kazakh jail and one of his subordinates have been arrested on suspicion of extortion, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Police today said the two officers, whose names were not made public, were arrested on March 16.

According to local authorities, between January 28 and February 15, the arrested officers received three television sets, four home cinema systems, two mobile phones, a computer monitor, and over $1,000 in cash from a relative of one prisoner.

The regional branch of the National Security Committee is investigating the case.

The jail is situated in the town of Kushmurun in Kazakhstan's northern Qostanay Oblast and is known for its very strict conditions.

Rights activists have made frequent accusations of prisoner mistreatment at the jail, including beatings, solitary confinement, and torture.

Prominent opposition politician Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov served his prison term there between 2002 and 2005.