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Tajik Army Admits Conscript Beaten To Death

The Tajik Army is now admitting that a young conscript who died last month in northern Khujand Province was beaten to death.

Zafar Nizomov, an investigator at the military prosecutor's office in Khujand, told RFE/RL on May 20 that Sergeant Farruh Davlatov has been charged with abuse of power in connection with the death of Private Akmal Davlatov. The two men are not related.

Military officials had said earlier that Davlatov died after choking on his food.

The report comes a day after another Tajik military conscript, a victim of hazing, returned home after undergoing surgery and three weeks of medical treatment in Moscow.

Shahbol Mirzoev suffered severe spinal injuries and became paralyzed as the result of bullying in March.

Human rights organizations in Tajikistan have criticized the government for not doing enough to stop hazing in the military.