Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, says criminal proceedings have bene instituted against one of three policemen detained over the death of Kulob resident Abduqahhor Roziqov.     

Kulob prosecutor’s office has reportedly instituted criminal proceedings against Kulob police department officer Shamshod Sharifov under the provisions of Article 316 (3) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – abuse of power.

This article prescribes punishment in the form of a fine of up to 100,000 somonis or an imprisonment for a term of five to ten years.  

An official source within the Kulob prosecutor’s office told Radio Ozodi on January 12 on the basis of anonymity that two other police officers – Zafar Kholov and Jamshed Karomatov – have been released on bail.  

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, 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 Ozodi, Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda received Roziqov’s mother and other close relatives.