Open letter to President Ilham Aliyev

Dear Mr. President


I listened to your response at PACE on June 24th regarding the reasons of nonterminating pressure against me for my longstanding human rights activity. The response, to put it mildly, was full of inaccuracy.

I was not running away from Azerbaijan purposely to avoid questioning at the Office of Public Prosecutor, as a witness on the falsified criminal case against honored AR journalist, Gerd Bucerious laureate Rauf Mirkadirov. We, my husband and I had invitations to the conference held on April 30 in Brussels. During our detention at the airport, there were a lot of violations of AR legislation, violations of Article 3 and 5 of European Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. We have not signed any statement that would ban us to leave the country. There was no court decision on selection against us preventive punishment in form of prohibition to leave the country. Taking away from us our passports and arresting our personal bank accounts are just another evidence of legal lawlessness in Azerbaijan!

During your speech in Strasburg, Mr. President, You indicated that “I avoid to testify as a witness, already for several weeks”. That is not truth.

During April 28-29, for more than 26 hours I was kept in detention without any sleep, and starting from 7:00 o’clock in the morning till 16:00 o’clock in the afternoon, for 9 hours I was giving evidence in the Office of Public Prosecutor. Throughout 9 hours, I was questioned by 4 investigators under the direction of general major Eldar Ahmedov.

Exactly after a month, on May 29th, I was invited to the Office of Public Prosecutor again. I answered: “Return our lawlessly taken away passports and after that I will come to the questioning”.

While responding to the question regarding pressure against me, Mr. President, You said that it is me who exerts pressure on the authority and even has used physical violence against policeman. On the night of April 29th, when unlawful actions by police caused my husband to have mini stroke and investigator I. Lemberanski did not allow ER doctors to approach my husband, I took the police hat from the head of policeman and threw it on the ground.  We were brought up like that – a man who allowed himself to break into the toilet and to watch me while I was going to toilet is not a man!

Such person does not deserve to wear a man hat and peak-cap of law guard. Ask women of your family – how one needs to act in such case.

Your response clearly showed, that it was exactly You, Mr. President who personally ordered to demolish our house with all belongings inside on August 11, 2011; exactly you do not allow H. Abutalibov to act according to court decision and to pay us stated by court amount of compensation. Personally You gave the order to take away our passports and to keep us as the hostages in the country.

There is nothing you can press against us. The basic rule of our life is – strictly act in accordance with the letter and the spirit of law. Therefore, while pursuing me, You are ordering to violate law..

Undoubtedly, Mr. President, I am very grateful to you – You raised my self- appraisal greatly. Until now, I have not fully believed that You yourself personally Mr. President stand behind all this terror, falling upon my family, my relatives, friends, colleagues. Although I know, what the personal animosity of the head of the country means: Vezirov and Mutalibov spoke many times publicly very firmly against me.

Your father was much wiser, he understood that I was not presenting real threat, he did not give into his emotions and he remained as pragmatic politician.

To destroy me won’t be very difficult for You, Mr. President. There are a lot of ways, and to ahold us as hostages is one of them. It is not hard to foresee, that You will start to attack during holidays, when it will be difficult to inform public. You may destroy me, but you will never win me. History cannot be rewritten; every one already secured its own position in it. You will not remain in the history as president Ilham Aliyev – son of Heydar Aliyev, but instead you will be remembered as president who did not break, nor won, but harshly destroyed the woman, human right defender, Leyla Yunus.

The choice is YOURS..

Leyla Yunus

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