Accessibility links

Breaking News

Former Tajik Warden Reportedly Jailed Over Deadly Prison Riot

Khujand Prison in northern Tajikistan (file photo)
Khujand Prison in northern Tajikistan (file photo)

DUSHANBE -- The former warden of a prison in Tajikistan's northern city of Khujand has been handed a prison sentence over a deadly riot in November in which dozens of people were killed, a Tajik official has told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity.

An official at the Tajik State Penitentiary Directorate, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to talk publicly on the matter, told RFE/RL on June 7 that Faizullo Safarzod was found guilty of abuse of office and negligence and sentenced to four years in prison.

It is not clear when exactly the verdict and sentence were pronounced, as Tajik authorities have been reluctant to disclose any information related to the riot since it took place on November 7.

Safarzod's relatives and his lawyer refused to talk to RFE/RL.

Tajik authorities publicly acknowledged the riot two weeks after it broke out, saying that 23 inmates and two prison guards were killed when the riot was suppressed.

The Islamic State (IS) group said in a statement that the riot broke out after one of its "soldiers" detained there attacked a prison guard.

The penitentiary -- the high-security prison No. 3/3 -- largely houses inmates convicted on charges related to terrorism, extremism, and other serious crimes.

Last month, another prison riot in the Vahdat district, some 15 kilometers east of the capital, Dushanbe, claimed the lives of three prison guards and 29 inmates, including three opposition politicians.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.