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Former Inmates Back In Tajik Jails Over Bribes

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's anticorruption agency says at least 10 former convicts who were freed under an amnesty last year have recently been arrested again for allegedly bribing their way to freedom.

Agency chief Fattoh Saidov said on March 9 that investigations revealed that the convicts had bribed prison officials and doctors to obtain phony documents that helped make them eligible for pardons for health reasons.

Saidov said most of the men had been serving long-term prison sentences on drug-trafficking charges.

The anticorruption agency made headlines in Tajikistan earlier this year for a series of arrests of high-ranking law-enforcement agency officials who were allegedly involved in the drug trade.

Some 6,000 inmates were freed from Tajik prisons under a "golden amnesty" to mark the country's 20th anniversary of independence in September 2011.