Appeal of the human rights activists to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

 President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev 
Mr. President Aliyev,

We are concerned about the ongoing persecution of human rights activists, the founders of the Institute for Peace and Democracy in Azerbaijan Leyla and Arif Yunusov.

We know, from a reliable source, that their right to free movement is being limited. On 28 April, the human rights activists were arrested at the airport, they were going to take a fly to attend an international conference. Leyla Yunusova was kept under police surveillance for 26 hours. Police actions can be described as cruel and degrading treatment contrary to Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Their passports were illegally confiscated, their home and office were raided, access to their personal bank accounts is blocked, they are under a total control; the pressure extends to their families and staff of the Institute for Peace and Democracy. All application to the Court for the restoration of law and their rights are rejected.

Arif Yunus
Head of the Department of Conflict and 
Migration Institute of Peace and Democracy
Ph.D. in History and conflicts,
Member of the Council of the Association
for Human Rights in Central Asia, 

These illegal actions have led to a deterioration of health of Leyla and Arif Yunusov. Moreover, lack of access to bank accounts is limiting their right to health care. All of this is causing an irreversible harm to their health and is threatening their lives. On 28 April 2014, Arif Yunusov was taken to the intensive care unit. He spent three weeks in hospital and still is in need of outpatient treatment. Leyla Yunusova suffers from diabetes.

Persecution of human rights activists violates the rules of law and morality. The Yunusovs did not breach the law, they were not charged with any crime.
Leyla Yunus
Chevalier of Legion of Honour of France
Winner of the Teodora Hacker International Prize 
Director of the Institute for Peace 
and Democracy of Azerbaijan

We regard their persecution as a revenge for their human rights activism.

On 30 May 2014, a threat to arrest Leyla Yunusova was renewed. The press service of the Prosecutor General's Office issued an unfounded statement that Yunusov is supposedly hindering the investigators. She fears criminal prosecution.

We urge you, as a guarantor of human rights and freedoms in Azerbaijan, to do everything to stop the arbitrariness of law enforcement agencies.

We call upon you to treat this appeal with all seriousness.


Jodgor Obid,
poet, member of the International PEN Club, Austria

Nadejda Atayeva,
President of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, France

Dilorom Iskhakova,
Representative of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Uzbekistan

Dmitry Belomestnov,
representative of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Russia

Sergey Ignatyev,
representative of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, USA

Bahytzhan Toregojina,
President of the Public Fund "Ar.Rukh.Khak" Kazakhstan

Tolekan Ismailova,
Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan"

Ruslan Maytanov,
freelance journalist from Kazakhstan

Akhunov Vyacheslav,
artist, Uzbekistan

Galim Ageleuov,
President of the Public Fund "Liberty", Kazakhstan

Aygul Bekjan,
human rights activist, USA

Mirakhmat Muminov,
member of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, USA

Dilya Erkinzoda,
human rights activist, Uzbekistan

Tashpulat Yuldashev
political scientist, United States

Javlon Mirzahadzhaev,
ex-owner of Mezon-TV, Co-Chairman  of NGO Fund "Our Children"
the City of Osh Kyrgyz Republic, Switzerland

Ismail Dadadjanov,
Chairman of the Democratic Forum of Uzbekistan,
Member of the Central Council of the "Birlik", Sweden

Umida Akhmedova,
Uzbek documentary filmmaker and photographer
member of the Union of Cinematographers of Uzbekistan
and the National Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan

Dr.Leyla Aliyeva
President of the Center for National and International Studies
Baku, Azerbaijan

Emil Adelkhanov,
The Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development, Georgia

Genghis Sultansoy
freelance writer, journalist and screenwriter.
Winner of a journalism award «Media açarı» 2004 and 2009. Azerbaijan

Oleksy Tolkachev
President of the European Association of Ukrainians

Roman Mamytov,
Representative of the People's Movement "Alga Karakalpakstan," the Republic of Karakalpakstan

Farhodhon Mukhtarov
member of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan - PAHs, Netherlands

Mubarak Sharipov
sociologist, Independent Consultant for Central Asia expert of the Association "Human Rights in Central Asia", Denmark

ya Inoyatova
Chairman of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik", Uzbekistan

Salomatoy Boymatova,
member of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Ireland

Oynihol Bobonazarova,
Chairman of Public Association "Perspective +" Tajikistan

Alisher Ilkhamov
Researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, UK

Bashorat Eshova,
representative of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Switzerland

Ulugbek Khaidarov,
freelance journalist, editor of the "Registan" supplement of  the "Vancouver Express", Canada

Ravshan Gapirov,
Director of the Human Rights Centre "Justice, Truth", Kyrgyzstan

Kamoliddin Rabimov,
political scientist, France

Umarali Kuvatov,
leader of the opposition, "G-24", Tajikistan

Dododzhon Atoulloev,
leader of the opposition movement "Vatandor" Tajikistan

Alisher Taksanov,
freelance journalist, Switzerland

Yuri Jibladze,
President of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Russia

Nana Nazarova
Society for Harmonious Development of Human, Georgia

Maxim Nazirov
President of the Association of Friendship Temurids France

Rysbek Adamaliev,
Center for the Protection of Human Rights "Kylym Shamy", Kyrgyzstan

Vyacheslav Mamedov
Chairman of the Democratic Civil Union of Turkmenistan