8 Jul 2019 09:27

Thirteen inmates die in transfer in Tajikistan - Main Penitentiary Directorate

DUSHANBE. July 8 (Interfax) - Thirteen inmates have died of bread poisoning while being transferred from northern Tajikistan to Dushanbe, the Tajik Justice Ministry's Main Penitentiary Directorate said in a statement on Monday.

"Consistent with the plan approved by the Directorate's administration, 128 inmates (120 males and eight females) were being transferred from Khujand and Istaravshan in the Sughd district to Dushanbe, Norak and Yavan on board three prisoner transfer vehicles on July 7," the statement, which was posted on the Tajik Interior Ministry's website, said.

Sixteen inmates ate three loafs of bread during the second leg of their transfer, in the vicinity of Maihura in the Varzob district. Their condition worsened 30 minutes later, the statement said.

All 16 prisoners who ate the bread were unconscious by the time they reached the office of the Dushanbe investigative division of the Main Penitentiary Directorate.

"Paramedics saved three inmates, and 13 died of poisoning. The rest 115 prisoners suffered no physical damage and arrived at designated penitentiaries. The Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case on counts of poisoning of 13 inmates and ordered a forensic inquiry to be held. The Prosecutor General's Office is monitoring the inquiry," the statement said.