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Torture of Vikram Ruzakhunov: Four policemen detained in Almaty

Four policemen were detained in Almaty as part of the criminal case on the torture of Kyrgyz musician Vikram Ruzakhunov during the January 2022 riots in Kazakhstan. The musician posted on Instagram.

Vikram Ruzakhunov wrote that two employees of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Kazakhstan were specially sent from Astana to Almaty. «At the moment, four of the previously identified police officers have been detained and placed in custody so far,» he added.

According to the musician, one of the police officers admitted the fact of torture and violence.

Along with Vikram Ruzakhunov, there are 22 victims in the torture case.

«The Prosecutor General’s Office has assured us that it will bring the case to its logical conclusion, and the detention of the first four criminals in uniform is only the beginning,» he said.

On January 9, 2022 social media and Kazakh TV channels showed a video, in which a man says that he came to Kazakhstan to participate in a rally in Almaty. It is said in the video that some people called the Kyrgyzstani on January 1 and offered to participate in the rally for $200. The man was identified as the head of a jazz orchestra from Bishkek Vikram Ruzakhunov.

Activists and journalists of Kyrgyzstan appealed to the authorities of the two countries with a request to release the detained musician and return him to his homeland. He crossed the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border on January 10 at 6.40 p.m.

«All my evidence in the video is false. Bruises and scratches appeared on January 7, it was a harsh detention with the use of force,» the musician told journalists after arrival in Bishkek.

The musician admitted later that he was tortured. Criminal cases have been initiated on the fact of detention and ill-treatment of Kyrgyzstanis Cholponbek Sydykov and Vikram Ruzakhunov.