Three officers of the Kulob police department have been punished over the death of a 37-year-old resident of the city of Kulob, Abduqahhor Roziqov.  

Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda said this at a news conference in Dushanbe today while reporting on the results of the work carried out by his ministry last year.  

He noted that “three police officers who detained Abduqahhor Roziqov and took him to the police department were punished for negligence.”  

“Besides, several other officers of the Kulob police department were laid off in connection with this incident,” the minister said.   

Rahimzoda did not provide other details of this incident.

Recall, a 37-year-old Abduqahhor Roziqov was detained in the city of Kulob Ozodi on the night of January 2 to January 3 on suspicion of involvement in drug trafficking.

Roziqov had previously been sentenced to 12 years in prison on drug charges but was subsequently released in an amnesty.  As a condition of his release, he had to register weekly with the Interior Ministry’s office in Kulob.

Two hours after Roziqov was taken away by police officers Shamshod Sharifov, Zafar Kholov and Jamshed Karomatov, his relatives received a call instructing them to retrieve his body from the morgue.

The Interior Ministry released a statement on January 3 to claim that Roziqov had succumbed to an amphetamine overdose.  The man died as he was being transported from his home to a police precinct, it said.

Meanwhile, Abduqahhor’s relatives say he died as a result of torture by the police officers who carried out the arrest.

Relatives have demanded an independent medical examination to ascertain cause of death.  Media reports say a group of around 10 of Roziqov’s relatives gathering outside the Kulob morgue to demand that those responsible be punished.

The source within the Kulob prosecutor’s office says investigators have not yet been able to establish that he died from torture by police officers.

According to Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda received Roziqov’s mother and other close relatives.