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Tajik mother says security services beat young son

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OLGA TUTUBALINA | November 20, 2012 07:12 AM EST | AP

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DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — A woman in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan says security services held her 12-year-old son for three days and beat him to coerce details on individuals detained on extremism charges.

Inobat Yakubova told the respected Tajik newspaper Asia-Plus on Monday that her son was picked up in late August while at the home of his Arabic language tutor, who is suspected of being a member of banned Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

The State Committee for National Security could not be reached for comment.

Tajikistan, a Muslim nation that assists U.S. military operations in neighboring Afghanistan, has sought to stamp out radical religious movements it says threaten its stability.

Rights activists say mistreatment of suspects in custody is commonplace, but a case involving an underage boy will likely still provoke outrage.

Yakubova said she had not spoken out about the mistreatment of her son, Nusratullo, earlier for fear of reprisals from the authorities.

Her lawyer, Shukhrat Kudratov, said he has petitioned state prosecutors to investigate the security services officer responsible. The General Prosecutor's office confirmed it had received the request.

Yakubova said that she looked for her son in the hospitals of the capital city, Dushanbe, before he finally reappeared at home with bruises and scratches on his face and body.

Nusratullo Yakubov told Asia-Plus that he was questioned by several officers.

"(One) told he wanted to me say that the teacher was distributing banned literature," Yakubov said. "He hit me in the face and stomach. He picked me up and threw me to the ground. I was terrified and it hurt."

Yakubova said she was later visited by the security services official and warned not to go public with the allegations of abuse.

Tajikistan, an impoverished nation of 7 million people, lies along the supplies distribution route for the U.S-led military operation in Afghanistan.