What are you afraid of Mr. President?

Yesterday, the director of Peace and Democracy Institute Leyla Yunus wrote a letter addressing the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

It must have been that the President found the language of the letter too harsh for his taste that today, Leyla Yunus was kidnapped by three unknown men who not only forcefully got in to the taxi she was in but also confiscated her phone and took her to the Prosecutor’s Office for questioning.

Here is the English version of her letter. The original letter can be viewed



Stop panicking, Your Excellency Mr. President!

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Enough panicking! It is no doubt that you are immersed with fear and excitement. What are you so afraid of? Are these young people- bloggers, NIDA activists; is such a threat to your power that every day more of them are arrested?

Are you aware, of what their parents wish upon your loved ones?

Bright intellectuals like Yadigar Sadiqli and Hasan Huseynli became “hooligans” [thanks to you]!

In the history of different countries and nations, similar or even harsher repressions were repeated. But in all of these, results were always the same.

I understand you well! There is no one you can rely on, or trust. True, there are administrative resources, unlimited power, and large sums of money. But apart from this, you are left with no one else but flattering thieves deprived of intellect and concerned only about their personal material welfare. At first danger, they will not only betray you, but they will already be busy choosing sides of the new emerging groups. You are aware of this just as well as I am.

This isn’t just a proverb: “It is better to have a hundred friends, than a hundred manats [Azerbaijani currency]”. A friend isn’t someone who dances at your parties. A friend is someone who will stand by your side, shoulder-to-shoulder, and unafraid of being torn to pieces when the regime’s chained dogs are unleashed on you. I pity you. You have never known the true friendship.

Come to your senses. It is never late to stop. Just be aware there is no coming back from the other world.

Think about it. You can still be remembered as a tolerant and pragmatic politician rather than a dictator and a tyrant.

Right now, TODAY, order the release of all those innocent men.

The choice is after you!

Director of Peace and Democracy Institute, Leyla Yunus

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