Aygul Bekjanova: "In Uzbekistan there is no law that prohibits children to meet their father, but I can not get a permission to meet with my father for many years ...".
On 2 May 2014 in Washington, DC office of the "Open Society Foundation”, daughters of Muhammed Bekjanov, a political prisoner, former editor of the opposition newspaper "Erk", were given the prize "Journalist of 2013" awarded to him established by "Reporters without Borders". The Prize was awarded to Muhammed Bekjanov in November 2013 and given to his family on the eve of World Press Freedom Day.
Muhammed BEKJANOV, born in 1954, is a citizen of Uzbekistan. He is a former chief editor of the "Erk" newspaper which was founded by the opposition party of the same name.
In 1999, Muhammed Bekjan was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 158, § 3 - "Attempts on life of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan"; 159, § 3 - "Endangering the constitutional order of the Republic of Uzbekistan"; 216 - "Organisation of banned public associations and religious organisations"; 223, part 2 - "Illegal travel abroad or illegal entry into the Republic of Uzbekistan", 227, Part 2 - "Seizure, destruction, damage or concealment of documents, stamps, seals, forms," 228 subsections 2, 3 - "Manufacturing, forgery of documents, stamps, seals, forms, and their sale or use"; 242, Part 1 - "The organisation of a criminal community." In 2003, under an amnesty, his sentence was reduced by 3 years and 8 months.
In 1999, during his interrogation in Tashkent prison, Muhammed Bekjanov was tortured. Then they broke his leg, and he still limps. On the third year of imprisonment, he contracted tuberculosis. With this diagnosis, Bekjanov was treated twice in a hospital for prisoners in "Sangorod" in Tashkent. He desperately needs help dentists.
On 25 January 2012, at a meeting in the Kasan prison of the Kashkadarya region, on charges of "violating the internal regulations," another five years were added to his sentence.
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, "Amnesty International", "Reporters Without Borders», CPJ, «ACAT-France» and HRW, in their reports, have repeatedly expressed concern about the situation of Muhammed Bekjanov.
Head of the branch for Europe and Central Asia of "Reporters without Borders", Johan Bikram, said, "In Uzbekistan, at least another 10 journalists remain in prison. Four of them suffer in prison because of journalism, others are punished for human rights activism. One of the journalists remaining in prison is Mohammed Bekjanov".