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Red Cross Visits Turkmenistan

ASHGABAT -- A delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has visited prisons in Turkmenistan.

Aigul Khalaile from the ICRC in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, said the delegation inspected a youth detention facility last week, and "saw in what conditions the inmates live there."

Khalaile said the ICRC had visited a prison hospital in Turkmenistan last year. She said the delegation was not able to hold private meetings with inmates during either visit.

Turkmenistan's government has often been criticized by rights groups for refusing international access to inmates in its detention and prison facilities, which are overcrowded and disease-ridden.

With reporting by AP