Seven officers of the Khujand high-security penal colony that witnessed a deadly riot earlier this month have reportedly been arrested for negligence.  They are currently being held at the Khujand detention facility.  

A reliable source at the Sughd law enforcement authorities says they face charges of negligence.  According to him, the Khujand city court has issued arrest warrants for them.   

“Criminal proceedings have been instituted against the penal colony warden Faizullo Safarzod, law-and-order maintenance department chief Dilshod Sobirov and five other officers of the penal colony under the provisions of Article 322 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – negligence,” the source said

“They were detained last week and they currently being held at Khujand-based detention facility 9/2,” the source added. 

Meanwhile, citing Tajik law enforcement sources, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on November 16 that that Faizullo Safarzod was detained the day before and charged with negligence and abuse of power.

He was reportedly accused of failing to inform Tajikistan's Penitentiary Service in a timely fashion about the riot after it erupted late on November 7.  

Recall, the riot broke out at a high-security penal colony 3/3 in the northern city of Khujand late on November 7.  According to some sources, several inmates convicted of religious extremism and terrorism organized the riot at the Khujand high-security penal colony.  They were reportedly armed with cold steels and one of them managed to disarm a guard, took his assault rifle and began shooting at guards and wardens. 

It is not clear what sparked the riot that was suppressed by riot police sent to the prison.

Amaq news agency, which is linked to the Islamic State (IS) terror group, reported on November 8 that one of IS fighters “is responsible for the attack in Tajikistan that sparked a prison riot.” 

Some media outlets have dwelled on the fact that the Khujand high-security penal colony has been used to hold people convicted on charges of belonging to radical religious organizations.

According to some media outlets, 25 people, including two prison guards, were killed in violence.  

Meanwhile, Tajik law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, locally known as Radio Ozodi earlier this month that the prison riot left at least 52 people, including two prison guards, dead.    

Almost two weeks after the violence, the Tajik authorities have issued no public statements on the incident.