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Rights Activists Criticize Tajik Prison Conditions

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Center for Human rights says that inmates in Tajik prisons live in desperate conditions, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tatyana Khatyukhina told RFE/RL on May 26 that Tajik prisons lack a proper supply of food and have poor health-care services.

Zdenek Hajek of the United Nation's Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture said Red Cross representatives have no access to Tajik jails or labor camps.

But Bahrom Abdulhaqov, an official from Tajikistan's Prisons Directorate, said that the country's prisons are in a satisfactory condition when compared with some countries.

Payam Foroughi, the OSCE representative in Tajikistan, says the authorities should sign an agreement on cooperation with the Red Cross or other international organizations in order to raise the standards in the Tajik penitentiary system.