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Kazan Authorities Investigate Detainee's Alleged Torture Death

KAZAN, Russia -- Authorities in the central Russian republic of Tatarstan say an investigation has been launched into the death of a man while in police custody in the Tatar capital, Kazan.

Sergei Nazarov, 52, was arrested by local police for alleged hooliganism on March 9.

He was later taken from the police station to a hospital, where he died.

Nazarov's relatives say he spoke to doctors before his death and alleged that four police officers had severely beaten him and raped him with a wine bottle.

Tatarstan Interior Minister Asgat Safarov has pledged severe punishments for any officers found to be involved in the death.

Safarov on March 12 suspended 13 officers in connection with the case. The officers have denied wrongdoing.

With Interfax and ITAR-TASS reports