Activist Gives Rare Glimpse Of Tajik Prison Where Deadly Violence Occurred

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Azamat Shambilov is one of few outsiders to have visited Tajikistan's Kirpichniy prison before it became the scene of a deadly riot this week.

As the head of Penal Reform International's (PRI) office for Central Asia, Shambilov has visited the prison in the Vahdat district just outside Dushanbe earlier this year.

During a weekly talk show aired by RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Shambilov said that one of the facility's major issues was the lack of separate cells.

Instead, prisoners were being held in large groups -- of up to 200 people -- in big barracks, Shambilov said, calling it a "legacy of the Soviet Gulag."

"Imagine a huge room with four rows of bunk beds. [Tajikistan] should introduce the system of separate prison cells," Shambilov said during the May 23 segment of The World And Us.

Azamat Shambilov is one of few outsiders to have visited Tajikistan's Kirpichniy prison before it became the scene of a deadly riot this week.

As the head of Penal Reform International's (PRI) office for Central Asia, Shambilov has visited the prison in the Vahdat district just outside Dushanbe earlier this year.

During a weekly talk show aired by RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Shambilov said that one of the facility's major issues was the lack of separate cells.

Instead, prisoners were being held in large groups -- of up to 200 people -- in big barracks, Shambilov said, calling it a "legacy of the Soviet Gulag."

"Imagine a huge room with four rows of bunk beds. [Tajikistan] should introduce the system of separate prison cells," Shambilov said during the May 23 segment of The World And Us.

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