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Report: Kyrgyz Officer Confesses To Beating Journalist

Almaz Tashiev, seen here recovering in hospital, later died from his injuries.
Kyrgyz Deputy Interior Minister Sabyrbek Kurmanaliev says that a policeman has confessed to beating a journalist in the southern Osh region who later died from his injuries, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Almaz Tashiev, 32, was buried on July 13 in the Nookat district.

He died the previous day from massive internal injuries suffered during a beating in Nookat on July 4.

Kurmanaliev said a criminal case of hooliganism has been opened against the policeman, whose name was not given.

The police had previously denied they were involved in Tashiev's beating.

Tashiev told RFE/RL in an interview in the hospital that he had been assaulted by police at the Nookat district police station.

Prominent human rights activist Aziza Abdyrasulova, head of the NGO Torch of the Century, told RFE/RL that opening a criminal case on hooliganism charges is too lenient and that the officer should be charged with abuse of power and murder.

Kyrgyz human rights organizations have urged authorities to thoroughly investigate the case.