Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Alleged Torture Death May Make Test-Case in Tajikistan

By Mehrangez Tursunzoda











After a man detained by Tajik police died in early March, the prosecution service launched an investigation into possible wrongdoing by those who held him in custody. The likely charges include negligence and abuse of authority, rather than a direct accusation of torture.

Police say Safarali Sangov, 37, died in hospital of injuries sustained during a suicide attempt while in custody, and they deny assaulting him.

The case is being watched by the Tajikistan Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and by Amnesty International, both of which are calling on prosecutors to ensure a fair and impartial investigation.

Interior ministry spokesman Mahmadullo Sadulloev says that even if prosecutors cannot build a case against the police officers alleged to have been involved, they will face internal disciplinary action including possible dismissal.

The audio programme, in Russian and Tajik, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.