European Games in Baku: A letter from an Azerbaijani prison

Europe salutes its athletes at the first European Games. Salutes in the shadow of the crackdown of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan. Sport Executive brings you human rights defender Leyla Yunus’ letter to her husbond Arif Yunus.

European Games in Baku: A letter from an Azerbaijani prison

Dear Arif!
For a long time I have not been writing. I have been imposed a tight ring, as they fear my words more than bullets.
Well, we both have been extended the term of imprisonment until August (exactly a year since the arrest).
Now I understand and know their plans: we will be held in jail until the trial at the end of 2015, and then a circus trial will take place – given the judgment, and a whole bunch of the articles hung, they will give us from 10 to 15 years.
I with my experience understand all clearly…
Scary? Scary. It is very scary that we will not be together – you, me and Dinara.
Who supports me? On the one hand, V. Shalamov, on the other – A. Solzhenitsyn.

READ: KHADIJA ISMAYILOVA’S LETTER

I know you have Order No 227 and Chuikov next to you.
We were given the infamous Article 58-6 (espionage), which fully revives the spirit of Stalinism…
Yes, Shalamov served 18 years, and Solzhenitsyn – 8.
But they were young. Solzhenitsyn was 27 years old when arrested, and we are 60…
Pericles finally realized the shamefulness of holding the Olympics in jail! Games were played, but the spirit of Pericles was against the use of the term Olympic…
Amnesty International has collected 50,000 signatures demanding our immediate release.
Dinara has given all this information in an interview with the First Channel of the Dutch TV.
By the way she regularly speaks in the European media and on TV.
People already recognize her in the street and come up to her, expressing admiration for our family…
On February 23 Dinara registered the Institute for Peace and Democracy in the Netherlands.
Now our IPD led by Yunus (!) will continue to work in partnership with the leading human rights organizations in the world…

READ: LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Arif, my dear! We’ve been together for 37 years. It is very hard without you… But we have already found  our place in history…
Your Leyla.

THE LETTER

THE LETTER

A recent letter from Leyla Yunus, a leading human rights defender in Azerbaijan, who was detained in August 2014, to her husband, Arif, detained a few days after her. She is former director of Institute of Peace and Democracy in Azerbaijan.

The letter reached us through intermediaries and is published with the author’s permission.