– This report was originally published by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.-

April 22, 2010

TASHKENT — Criminal charges against 12 Uzbek policemen suspected of the gang rape of Raykhon Soatova and her two sisters in jail have been dropped, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports.

The alleged victims’ brother, Abdusamat Soatov, told RFE/RL on April 21 that according to a Tashkent prosecutor, a DNA test revealed no connection between any of the suspects and Soatova’s child, who she said was conceived in the assault. Soatova, 28, gave birth prematurely in the prison hospital in December.

Soatov added that he has not received any official notification from the internal affairs investigations department, and the father of Soatova’s child remains unidentified.

Soatov was told that during the investigation, Raykhon could not positively identify any of the 12 men she said had abused her.

Soatov said his formal complaint to the Tashkent prosecutor’s office was rejected, reportedly due to a lack of evidence. Soatov added that he will continue seeking justice.

Soatova and her sisters — Khosiyat and Nargiza — were arrested on May 9, 2009, during a physical altercation with the alleged mistress of Nargiza’s husband. They were sentenced to between six and seven years in prison on hooliganism and robbery charges.

To fond out more please follow the link: http://www.rferl.org/content/Charges_Dropped_Against_Uzbek_Police_In_Alleged_Gang_Rape/2021771.html

Photo: Raykhon Soatova