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Relatives Believe Uzbek Man Was Tortured To Death In Custody

BEKOBOD, Uzbekistan -- Relatives of an Uzbek man who died in police custody this month say they believe he was tortured to death by police.

Police in the tightly controlled Central Asian nation said that Kamoliddin Kuziev, 26, committed suicide.

Kuziev's brother, Bobomurod Kuziev, told RFE/RL on April 16 that Kamoliddin had been summoned to the police on April 7 and held on suspicion of hooliganism.

He said that two days later, police brought Kamoliddin's dead body to his family, told them he hanged himself in detention, and urged them to bury him "as soon as possible."

"They even dug a grave for him before informing us about his death," Bobomurod Kuziev said.

He said that he and his relatives found numerous signs of torture on his brother's dead body.

Last week, Amnesty International called on the European Union to increase pressure on Uzbek government to stop torture in Uzbek jails and prisons.