The Ministry of Justice says three prison guards and 29 inmates have been killed in a riot that broke out in a high-security penal colony in Vahdat Township.  Among instigators of the riot was Behrouz Gulmurod, the eldest son of fugitive Tajik police colonel Gulmurod Halimov who joined the Islamic State (IS) terror group.  

The authorities say 24 rioters were killed and 34 others were detained.

The press center of the Ministry of Justice says “the instigators of the riot were Fakhriddin Gulov, Mahmadullo Sharipov, Ruhullo Hasanov and Behrouz Gulmurod, the son of the fugitive police colonel Gulmurod Halimov wh was killed in Syria.” 

The rioters reportedly killed three prison officers – Major Burhoniddin Murodov, Major Abdujabbor Halimov and Senior Lieutenant Mahmoud Asoyev -- and after that they released 8 inmates – members of IS terror group – who were held in an isolation cell.

After that, for the purpose of frightening they brutally killed five known inmates, including Said Qiyomiddin Ghozi, Sattor Karimov (Makhsumi Abdusattor) and Saidmahdikhon Sattorov (Shaikh Temour), and beat and injured dozens of other prison inmates.  

Said Qiyomiddin Ghozi, also known as Eshoni Qiyomiddin, was an active member of the Islamic Renascence Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).  He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2018.

Saidmahdikhon Sattorov, also known as Shaikh Temour, was sentenced to 16 years in jail on July 8, 2015.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of ‘illegal land grabbing’, ‘polygamy’, ‘extortion’, ‘desecration of the dead and their burial places’, and ‘obstruction the obtainment of compulsory basic education’. 

Sattor Karimov, also known as Makhsumi Abdusattor, was member of the IRPT Presidium.  He was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2016.  

24 rioters were killed and 35 others were detained when authorities took decisive measures to stabilize the situation, the press center said, noting that the situation was now under control and an investigation has been launched.  

Recall, Gulmurod Halimov's eldest son, Behrouz Gulmurod, was arrested in April 2017 and charged with attempting to join a foreign militant group.  The Dushanbe city court sentenced him to ten years in prison in June 2017.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of preparation for crime or criminal attempt (Article 32 of Tajikistan’s Penal Court) and mercenary activities (Article 401 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code).  

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service says the wives of several prisoners who were in a separate block of the facility for conjugal visits said they heard gunshots around 9 p.m. local time. They said the gunfire lasted for around 30 minutes.

Vahdat residents reportedly said they witnessed several ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks driving toward the prison.