SCNS officer claims that BBC reporter was not beaten

SCNS officer claims that BBC reporter was not beaten

Saidmuhiddin Saymuddinov, an investigator with the State Committee for National Security (SCNS)'s office in Sughd province, claims that the BBC correspondent Urunboy Usmonov was not beaten during the detention.

At the hearing that took place on August 25, the SCNS officer said that Urunboy Usmonov was taken to his office on June 14 and his detention was officially registered on the same day, Asia-Plus reported.

Meanwhile, Urunboy Usmonov and his relatives say that his was detained on June 13 and officers ill-treated him before his case was passed to the SCNS investigator and his detention was officially registered on June 14.

Saidmuhiddin Saymuddinov noted that he had not seen any signs of beating or violence on Usmonov's body.

One of Usmonov's defense lawyers, Abduqayum Yusufi, noted that Saymuddinov had not provided Usmonov with defense lawyers and thereby he had violated Articles 22 and 52 of Tajikistan's Criminal Procedure Code.

Another witness, head of the SCNS department in Sughd's Bobojonghafurov district Eraj Davlatov did not appear before the court.

We will recall that the trial of Urunboy Usmonov accused of associating with banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir began in the northern city of Khujand on August 16. Usmonov denies the charges, saying any meetings he had with Hizb ut-Tahrir members were for purely journalistic purposes.

When questioned, Mr. Usmonov told the court that he had been tortured in custody following his arrest on 13 June this year, including beatings and security officers burning his arms with cigarettes. He also said he'd been forced to sign a confession which had been dictated to him.

A statement released by Amnesty International on August 24 says that to the organization's knowledge, no investigation has yet been carried out into allegations that he was tortured and ill-treated in pre-trial detention. The judge has reportedly yet to inquire into how he and his four co-defendants have been treated in pre-trial detention.

Usmonov was reportedly arrested on June 13 and following an international outcry he was released on bail on July 14.

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