In our new letter from prison, Leyla Yunus writes to her husband, Arif Yunus. We present you the translated version of the original letter.
Arif my dear,
Once again, I am writing to you, though right now I know you cannot read my letters, you are completely isolated. But I think, our daughter, Dinara – our General Chuikov and Rodimtsev all in one, will keep these letters and some day reads them to our grandchildren.
Our favorite K. Simonov said well:
“Letters come in many forms:
Some are sick and some are sad,
Brilliant just occasionally,
Far more often very bad.”
But you have always collected and kept my letters, my articles and manuscripts. You were the research scientist in our family. I on the other hand, often forget what I have written. So I was so grateful, when last week Tom de Waal quoted my piece “The Degree of Responsibility of a Politician”, published in 1990, in samizdat “Istiqlal”.
And Svetlana Ganushkina remembered how together in 1991 we organized the meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian intelligentsia representatives.
It meant so much to me to receive the letter – appeal addressing both of us by my beloved Bulat Okudjava.
All of this is history already. And you are as always right; our names cannot be erased from the history.
You and I, began our struggle already at the Soviet Gulag. Back then we could hardly even imagine this country of red fascism would one day collapse and we are going to be here to witness it. We collaborated with the underground “Movement of National Minorities, enslaved by the Bolsheviks”, and reported for the samizdat paper “Express Chronicle”. I learned so much from Sasha Podrabinek. Then came the Initiative Center for founding of the Popular Front during the first board of the Azerbaijan’s Popular Front.
You wrote your first research on rebirth of Islam in Post Soviet Azerbaijan, and about the history of conveyed nations. Even though, ever since your adolescent years, you dreamed of writing the military history of ancient Azerbaijan. In the meantime Dinara and I dreamed of creating the space for you to do so.
In 2012 I created a unique joint Azerbaijan-Armenian website…
But it was our arrest that amplified our names. They didn’t just arrest us as a married couple. By doing so they restored a “glorious” Stalin tradition. They indicted us to such a bouquet of fantastic accusations (even Yezhov and Vishinki would lag behind), including a life sentence…
While in detention, I clearly understood their goal is not just the destruction, but brutal torture, insults, and physical torment, when death becomes the desired escape from the terrible suffering. This is our reality, and I clearly realize it. In other words, our work received the highest mark on the highest scale…
Arif I feel so lonely without you! For 36 years we were shoulder to shoulder, and were hoping to celebrate our 40
anniversary but they are so afraid of us…
Good Lord, how could a small, weak, sick woman scare the ruling government? With what?!
I know you would say, “traveler will tell the
, that here we lie, true to the Law”. But I still think Leonidas had it easier, simpler…
One of 300s.