A letter from prison by Khadija Ismayilova: “I did not choose a defective conscience. I chose to live in full harmony with my conscience, and I’m satisfied with it.”
The lawyer of the witness, who gave a false testimony against me in the Binagadi district court, Shohrat Allahmanov currently represents false witnesses testifying against Leyla Yunus. It is shameful that the Azerbaijani representative of Transparency International is the one who is testifying to support fraudulent charges against Leyla Yunus.
International organizations must refuse to work with people, who easily make compromises with their conscience to cooperate with the Azerbaijani government. Earlier, I have complained that Rena Safaralieva and her team never commented on my investigative reporting on corruption. And now the problem is not about their inaction. Now Rena Safaralieva is mastering the role of a power tool of repression against human rights defenders.
False witnesses against human rights defenders and journalists constantly have lawyers at their disposal, whereas a lot of people in prison complain that they are left without legal protection. The situation with appointed attorneys reminds of Nabokov’s “Invitation to a Beheading,” where the public prosecutor, prison authorities and lawyer are as if they were the same person.
I’m lucky to have independent lawyers. However, thousands of people were left with lawyers, who sign documents under prosecutors’ orders. I tell these people about Intigam Aliyev, Alayife Hasanov, Khalid Bagirov and other lawyers deprived of their license for not losing their good conscience. However, I am afraid that stories about a lawyer, who was left defenseless to such an injustice, will just add pessimism to the people.
The books I’m reading here describe the situation of what’s happening in Azerbaijan. I read in Havel’s essay that he once faced the same question that we’re facing here. People also often asked him questions: “Do you want it?” or “Is it worth it?” I agree with his response. “Life that is not willing to sacrifice itself for the sake of values that make up its meaning is not worth living.”
I think that the freedom to say that a thief is a thief and a robber is a robber, the right to expose the self-enrichment of Ilham Aliyev’s family thanks to his presidency is as valuable as my freedom to live. My life would be incomplete if I was living without using this freedom, this right. I did not choose a defective conscience. I chose to live in full harmony with my conscience, and I am happy with this.
Maybe that’s why I openly show my superiority over prosecutors and judges that arrested me. I know that it enrages them, but even these miserable conscience owners know how I feel sorry for them.
The day will come when we will build for them a society where we will not have to be miserable.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Meydan TV’s editorial policy.