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Tajik Prison Warden Reportedly Arrested After Deadly Riot


The extremist group Islamic State claimed the riot broke out after one of its "soldiers" attacked a prison guard. 

DUSHANBE -- The warden of a prison in Tajikistan that witnessed a deadly riot earlier this month has reportedly been arrested.

Tajik law enforcement sources told RFE/RL on November 16 that Faizullo Safarzod was detained the day before and charged with negligence and abuse of power.

According to the sources, Safarzod is accused of failing to inform Tajikistan's Penitentiary Service in a timely fashion about the riot after it erupted late on November 7.

News of the warden's reported arrest has not been officially confirmed by the Tajik authorities.

The local prosecutor's office in the Sughd region, where the prison is located, refused to comment on the report, saying that the case is being handled by the Prosecutor-General's Office in Dushanbe.

Earlier, law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL that at least 52 people, including two prison guards, were killed in the violence.

The extremist group Islamic State (IS) claimed the riot broke out after one of its "soldiers" attacked a prison guard.

Government sources, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL on November 9 that suspected IS supporters convicted of religious extremism and terrorism were behind the unrest.

More than a week after the violence, the Tajik government has still not issued any public statements on the incident.

The penitentiary largely houses inmates convicted on charges related to terrorism, extremism, and other serious crimes.

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