Read, Debate: Engage.
Support projects & petitions
muhammad-bekzhanov
May 16th, 2015

Put an end to torture!

type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

“I am lying there in a pool of blood for at least a few days - no water, no food. I am trying to remember all the good things in my life, my children, my wife. And mentally I am preparing myself that I am going to die.” This is Muhammad Bekzhanov, a critical voice of Uzbekistan, imprisoned since 16 years, describing some of the torture he was subjected to in prison.

In 1999 Uzbekistani security forces tortured journalist Muhammad Bekzhanov, editor of a banned opposition newspaper. They beat him with rubber truncheons, suffocated him and gave him electric shocks, all with the aim of forcing him to confess to “anti-state” offences. In court, this “confession” was used to sentence him to 15 years in prison. Despite numerous complaints from his lawyer and family, the authorities have never investigated allegations that Muhammad was tortured and were dismissed in court. In doing so, the trial flagrantly violated international standards of fairness. Muhammad remains in prison.

Muhammad Bekzhanov's case is not unique in Uzbekistan! Men and women in one of the world’s most repressive states are routinely pressured to sign confessions in the most brutal ways imaginable. Courts rely heavily on these so-called “confessions”, whilst judges routinely ignore or dismiss allegations of torture.

The President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, can change this. He can sign a decree instructing legislators to amend the Criminal Procedure Code to explicitly outlaw the use of torture to obtain confessions. Support Amnesty International and sign the letter to President Karimov to put an end to this inhumane method in the name of justice!

amnesty.org
map tooltip