QURGHON TEPPA, July 27, Asia-Plus - A trial of 12 inmates of the Qurghon Teppa jail charged with being involved in unrest in a Qurghon Teppa jail last year finished on July 27.  We will recall that final trial of 12 inmates of the Qurghon Teppa jail was adjourned on July 20 until July 24.  The trial was adjourned because journalists had not been allowed attending the trial.  The judge taking in the trial ordered the adjournment after the defendants said that they would not testify if journalists were not allowed to attend the trial.   

However, yesterday, not all journalists were allowed to attend the trial.  Only representatives from the regional state-run newspapers “Khatlon” were permitted to enter the courtroom, while correspondents of the “Asia-Plus” news agency and the Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service were refused to attend the trial without any explanations and comments.  

In the meantime, relatives of one of the inmates, Bahodur Abdumajidov, consider sentence asked by a prosecutor for Abdumajidov “unreal.”   “Bahodur just asked the judge whether he could guarantee their safety if they tell what happened in the jail in reality,” Shahnoza Abdumajidova said in her interview with Asia-Plus.  “All those who in the dock suggests that tortures will be in store for them after a verdict is passed.” 

She also noted, “If we find the verdict unfair we will appeal to higher judicial bodies.”

Defense lawyers and prosecutors refrained from giving any comments before pronouncement of the sentence.  The verdict is expected next week, on Monday.

We will recall a prosecutor in the trial Gulmahmad Pirov asked the court to sentence Bahodur Abdumajidov to a 30-year prison term, the other defendant to 23-year prison term, seven other defendants to seven years’ imprisonment each, two other to 16 years’ imprisonment each, and four wardens of the prison to four-year prison term each.  The inmates face charges of impeding activity of penitentiary, disorganization of the prison’s activity and participation in a criminal grouping.     

A regional court in Khatlon started the consideration of criminal proceedings instituted against 16, including four wardens of the prison, over unrest that took place in the Qurghon Teppa jail in August last year on May 24.  The trial is being held in the building of the Qurghon Teppa jail.    

The Qurghon Teppa jail’s inmates stirred up a mutiny in early August last year protesting against poor prison conditions.  Police quelled the unrest in several hours.  The Khatlon prosecutor’s office instituted criminal proceedings to probe the jail unrest.