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Relatives Say Dead Tajik Inmate Was Tortured

A relative mourns over the body of 27-year-old Hamza Ikromzoda, who died in Tajik detention. Family members say the body showed signs of torture.
DUSHANBE -- Relatives of an inmate who died this week in the central detention center in Dushanbe claim that 27-year-old Hamza Ikromzoda was tortured.

Ikromzoda's body was handed to his relatives on September 21.

The relatives say the body carries traces of torture, including burns caused by a heated iron.

The detention center's officials did not explain the cause of Ikromzoda's death, while representatives of Interior Ministry's Penitentiary Control Board said "nobody tortures anyone in Tajik jails."

The issue of torture in Tajik penitentiaries has been raised by local rights activists for some time.

In December, dozens of inmates in a labor camp in southern city of Qurghonteppa staged a hunger strike protesting alleged torture and beating.

The deaths of two apparently tortured inmates in the Dushanbe detention center caused a public outcry in 2011.