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Tajik Army Doctor Gets Nine Years In Jail For Hazing

A military court in Dushanbe has sentenced a military doctor to nine years in jail for seriously damaging a conscript's health.

Usmonali Gairatov was found guilty of hazing, inflicting bodily harm, and leaving a serviceman in danger.

The court also ruled on June 19 that Gairatov must pay 8,000 somonis ($1,625) to Shahbol Mirzoev's relatives to compensate for moral damages, and 5,700 somonis ($1,158) to cover Mirzoev's treatment in hospital.

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.

Last month, Tajik Army officials admitted that a young conscript who died in April in northern Khujand Province had been beaten to death.

One suspect in that case has been arrested. An investigation is continuing.