The Main Penitentiary Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan has denied reports about riot attempts in Dushanbe-based jails as “absolutely unfounded.”

“There were no any riot attempts in Dushanbe penal colonies and all the countries’ penitentiary institutions are operating normally,” an official source at the Penitentiary Directorate told Asia-Plus on the basis of anonymity.   

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, locally known as Radio Ozodi, citing a source at the Main Penitentiary Directorate, reported on June 25 that about 20 inmates of the Dushanbe-based penal colony # 1, who are serving their jail terms for membership in extremist organizations, attempted to plot a riot.   

Another source of RFE/RL’s Tajik Service says disturbances could also spark in penal colony # 7, which is also based in the Tajik capital. 

Recall, two deadly prison riots have taken place in Tajikistan over the past seven months.

The first deadly riot broke out at the Khujand-based high-security penal colony on November 7, 2018.  Tajik authorities publicly acknowledged the riot two weeks after it broke out, saying that 23 inmates and two prison guards were killed when the riot was suppressed.

The second deadly riot took place at the Vahdat penitentiary in the evening of May 19, 2019.   In a statement released the day after the disturbances, the Ministry of Justice said the trouble began with fighting among two camps of inmates.  The final death count was 32.  Three prison wardens and 29 inmates.  Out of 29 prison inmates who were killed, 17 were inmates who had been jailed as members of the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

IS terror group has claimed that it was behind both deadly prison riots.