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Notorious Old Prison In Tashkent To Be Replaced With Park

A notorious, nearly 130-year-old jail in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, will be replaced by a park.

Under a resolution adopted by the cabinet on March 22, the Tashtyurma detention center will be demolished in three months, the Justice Ministry said.

It said a park with recreation facilities and other amenities will be created in its place.

Tashtyurma prison was built in 1891 on the order of Imperial Russian Governor-General Aleksandr Vrevsky and is one of the oldest jails in Central Asia.

Human rights defenders have been saying that jail, whose official name is Detention Center No. 1, was dilapidated and that conditions there were extremely poor.

The inmates of Tashtyurma were moved to a newly built jail in the Zangiota district outside the capital in January.

Uzbekistan has a dire human rights record, with torture and politically motivated prosecutions widespread under late President Islam Karimov, who ruled with an iron fist for more than a quarter-century.

President Shavkat Mirziyoev, the longtime former prime minister who was handed the helm after Karimov's death in 2016, has taken steps to reform the country's justice and law-enforcement systems.