Twenty-eight inmates of a high-security penal in Vahdat Township have got lengthy jail terms for their roles in a riot that broke out in the penal colony late on May 19 this year.

The Supreme Court passed the sentence on October 25 and the prison rioters got additional lengthy terms ranging from 19 to 29 years, an official source within the Supreme Court told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

The source refrained from giving further details, just saying that the prison rioters were accused of sixteen articles.   

Recall, three prison guards and 29 inmates were killed in the Vahdat prison riot that the government blamed on militants of the Islamic State (IS) terror group serving their jail terms in that prison. 

Tajikistan’s Ministry of Justice said on May 20 that the riot broke out late on May 19 as the militants armed with knives and other sharp objects killed three guards and five fellow prisoners.  Among the prisoners who were killed by the militants were two senior members of the Islamic Renaissance party of Tajikistan (IRPT).

The militants reportedly then torched the prison hospital, took several inmates hostage and tried to fight their way out.  Security forces killed 24 militants in the battle to restore order in the prison, the Justice Ministry.

The authorities said one of the instigators of the riot was Behrouz Gulmurod, a son of Gulmurod Halimov, a Tajik special forces colonel who defected to the IS terror group in 2015 and, according to the government, has since been killed in Syria. 

The prison locally known as Kirpichniy, Russian word for "brick" is located some 15 kilometers to the east of Dushanbe.  It houses 1,500 inmates.