Three police officers from Tajik western city of Tursunzoda have got lengthy jail terms for using torture against a detainee.

The Supreme Court of Tajikistan has sentenced three police officers from Tursunzoda -- Sherali Azizov, Saadi Davlatmurodzoda and Eraj Naimov – to 13, 12 and 10 year each, respectively.   

The sentence followed their conviction on charges of abuse of power (Article 316 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code), office forgery (Article 323) and torture (Article 143.1).

Recall, the Civil Society Coalition against Torture and Impunity in Tajikistan says a resident of the city of Tursunzoda, Hasan Yodgorov, who is disabled since childhood (he has a left leg prosthesis), served six months in a pretrial detention facility in 2017 on murder charges and he was released only after the real killer was caught.  

The NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan says Hasan Yodgorov confessed to murder after being beaten and tortured with electricity.

…On the night of November 7, 2017, a waiter of one of Tursunzoda’s restaurants, Dmitry Karimov, was killed.  He was stabbed to death.  On the same day, ten plain-clothes police officers broke into Hasan Yodgotov’s house and took him to the police station.

Hasan Yodgorov confessed to the murder after being beaten and tortured with electricity during several days.

The film crew of the Interior Ministry press center immediately left for Tursunzoda and filmed a story about a murder hot on the trail.  There was Hasan in the frame parroting back phrases memorized at night.  He told how he "killed" and then "robbed" the victim. 

He was taken to the pretrial detention facility and there were a trial and presumably several years of imprisonment ahead, but soon the real killer of the waiter, Leonid Malchenkov, was detained. 

Criminal proceedings instituted against Hasan Yodgorov were dropped on May 15, 2018 and he was released.  

The next day, May 16, Hasan went to the Tursunzoda prosecutor’s office and fielded application against three police officers who had used torture against him – Sherali Azizov, Eraj Naimov and Saadi Davlatmurodzoda (forensic and psychological examinations confirmed the use of torture against Hasan).

In October 2018, criminal proceedings were instituted against the police officers.  Their case moved to the Supreme Court in August 2019.   

In January 2020, the Supreme Court remitted the case for further examination to correct the identified deficiencies.   The Supreme Court resumed the consideration of criminal proceedings instituted against those three police officers in March this year.