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Tajikistan Condemns Alleged Torture of Crocus Attack Suspects

Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, one of the suspects in the Crocus City Hall attack. Vasily Kuzmichyonok / Moskva News Agency

Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister condemned the alleged torture of four suspected gunmen behind last month’s deadly attack on a Moscow region concert hall, media in the Central Asian country reported Friday.

“The open display of detaining suspected terrorists with the use of torture, by inflicting bodily harm against them, is unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin told the Tajik news agency Asia-Plus.

Following the March 22 Crocus City Hall attack, which left 145 people dead and hundreds more wounded, graphic videos and photos of two suspected gunmen appeared to show them undergoing various acts of torture. Four suspects, who are all reportedly from Tajikistan, were later shown in court with visible cuts, bruises and other injuries.

Both The New York Times and Reuters were able to verify that the four men in the torture images were the same as those who appeared in court.

“The price of confessions obtained in this way is well known to everyone,” Muhriddin was quoted as saying, suggesting that the suspects’ later testimonies were obtained under duress.

The Kremlin has declined to comment on the alleged torture of the suspected shooters, although Russia’s state-appointed human rights commissioner said the use of torture against detainees was “absolutely inadmissible” after the graphic interrogation videos circulated on social media.

Torture is outlawed under Russia’s constitution. Russia is also a part of the UN Convention Against Torture.

Russian officials have blamed the Crocus City Hall attack on Ukraine and its Western allies despite the Islamic State claiming responsibility. Kyiv and the West deny any involvement and accuse Moscow of exploiting the tragedy for propaganda reasons.

This week, Russian state television released interrogation videos where the four suspected gunmen claimed they were promised safe passage to Ukraine, where they would allegedly receive financial rewards for carrying out the attack.

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