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Tajik Teacher Gets Lengthy Prison Term For 'Kissing Student'

DUSHANBE -- A 58-year-old Tajik teacher has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for sexually assaulting his 12-year-old female student, which the teacher's relatives deny, saying he just kissed her.

Representatives of the Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL on October 14 that Mirzokhon Aliev was sentenced on October 3.

According to the officials, the incident took place in the southern city of Norak, but the trial was held in the neighboring district of Yovon to avoid disclosure of the victim's identity.

The officials did not give any other details.

Aliev's children told RFE/RL that their father was innocent. According to them, the case against their father was launched after he attended a chess championship earlier in April, where he congratulated the girl, who won the tournament, with a kiss.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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