30
Fri, Oct

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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 Leyla sitetheir 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.
  
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 ofArif site 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.
  
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.
  
Signatories:
  
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
  
Leila Nazgul Seiitbek
member of Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
    
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 açar?» 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
  
Vasilya 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
  
Prophecy 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 Imagesov,
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