Authorities in Kazakhstan say seven inmates at a prison colony in the eastern city of Oskemen have maimed themselves.
The statement has increased concerns among relatives who have been denied access to inmates at the OV156/3 penal colony.
The regional prosecutor’s office said on November 12 that seven inmates had maimed themselves on November 11 during "regular search measures."
The statement comes two days after prison authorities refused to let relatives of inmates see their loved ones following reports that the armed forces had put down a riot at the facility.
Anxious relatives who gathered near the prison voiced fears that inmates had been subjected to violence by the troops.
Officials told the relatives that day that two inmates had been hospitalized after they maimed themselves to protest the presence of the armed forces.