Azerbaijan throws a historian and his wife in jail for activismHistorians in the News
The regime of President Ilham Aliyev has imprisoned one of the country’s most outspoken advocates for human rights, Leyla Yunus, and her husband, Arif, a historian. The charges: treason, fraud, tax evasion and illegal business activities.
Ms. Yunus is director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy in Baku, a human rights organization, and, in addition to her work defending political prisoners, she has been at the forefront of attempts to bridge the country’s long hostility with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. She organized exchanges and confidence-building efforts between Azeri and Armenian intellectuals, and this apparently provided the pretext for the absurd charge of espionage. The government had refused to officially register her institute, making it more vulnerable to the kind of arbitrary and capricious prosecution that is underway.
Ms. Yunus and her husband were blocked at the Baku airport on April 28 and prevented from leaving the country. Their passports were confiscated. They were repeatedly interrogated but defiantly refused to cooperate until their passports are returned along with their freedom. On July 30, Ms. Yunus was detained on her way to a conference. Her husband was also charged and put under house arrest. But he, too, was jailed on Aug. 5 when on the way to deliver a food parcel to her in prison.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- New Book Says Bob Woodward Burned Hillary Clinton’s Ghostwriter
- For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.
- In a Walt Whitman Novel, Lost for 165 Years, Clues to ‘Leaves of Grass’
- Veteran Congressman Still Pushing for Reparations in a Divided America
- Historian and Antiwar Activist Marilyn Young Dies at 79
- Trump Chooses Historian H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser
- Holocaust Historian Deborah Lipstadt Explains Why People Believe Trump's Lies
- Princeton’s Harold James warns World War Three is now a "serious threat”
- Israeli schools' history lessons create good soldiers, says pundit