06/30/2018, 14.22
UZBEKISTAN
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Five Karimov security officials convicted on torture charges

Sentences range from 14 to 18 years. Four prison guards sentenced to 18 years on the same charges. Since coming to power, Mirziyoyev has tried to free the country from Karimov's legacy, yet torture continues.

Tashkent (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Five former senior security officials in Uzbekistan were sentenced on Monday to 14 to 18 years for torture and abuse of office, Radio Free Europe has reported, citing an anonymous police source.

Those convicted include Rustam Azimov, former chief of the National Security Service (MXX) directorate, who was given 14 years. Four of former associates of his were given prison terms ranging from 16 to 18 years.

In addition, four former guards at a detention centre in the regional capital Bukhara were sentenced to 18 years each after being convicted on similar charges.

Since coming to power in December 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been trying to reform and free Uzbekistan from the legacy of his predecessor Islam Karimov who led the county with iron fist.

In November 2017, Mirziyoyev signed a decree prohibiting the courts from using evidence obtained through torture.

In late January, he dismissed General Rustam Inoyatov, who led the security service for almost 23 years.

Since then, several additional senior officials have been arrested or ousted.

However, despite the changes, allegations of torture at the hands of law enforcement authorities have persisted.

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