At least three wardens have been killed in a prison riot in Vahdat Township.  Experts have warned the authorities about radicalization of prison inmates in Tajikistan.   

The riot reportedly broke out in penal colony No 3/2, which is located some 15 kilometers to the east of Dushanbe, on the night of May 19.   

According to the press center of the Ministry of Justice, 30 inmates who were jailed for membership in the Islamic State (IS) terror group, armed with knives and cutting objects took three wardens hostage and then killed them, intending to escape from the penal colony.  

The inmates reportedly refused to obey the requirement to stop the riots and demanded immediate release.

During the negotiations, an armed conflict arose between the inmates themselves and several wardens sustained stab wounds, the press center says.

As a result of measures taken by the prison administration, the riot was suppressed and there are victims among the rioters.

Currently, the situation in the penal colony is under the full control of the administration, the press center says.  

Investigation has been launched into the incident.  

It is already the second prison riot raised by inmates convicted of religious extremism and terrorism in Tajikistan over the past six months.

Recall, a riot broke out at a high-security penal colony 3/3 in the northern city of Khujand late on November 7, 2018.  The riot was reportedly raised by several inmates convicted of religious extremism and terrorism.  Tajikistan authorities made the first comments on the Khujand prison riot on November 22.

Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin told reporters in Brussels on November 22 that 21 inmates were killed during the incident.  He said that “12 of the rioters had fought in Syria and Iraq alongside Islamic State (IS) militants” and that three others were in prison after convictions for membership in other, unspecified, extremist groups.

Muhriddin also said that two other inmates were killed “while trying to help prison guards,” but provided no further explanation of that comment.  Muhriddin also stated that two prison guards were killed and five others wounded.

Meanwhile, experts have warned the authorities about radicalization of inmates in the country’s penal colonies.  

A study on radicalization of prison inmates in Tajikistan has been conducted at the request of the country’s Security Council.  Experts in religion, psychologists and employees of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Justice and the State Committee for National Security participated in conducting the study that was completed in 2017.  Prison inmates who had fought in Syria and Iraq were reportedly surveyed.