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2021, 25 İyun, Cümə, Bakı vaxtı 05:49

Letter from Leyla Yunus

Azerbaijan -- Leyla Yunus, Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, and Arif Yunus, political scientist, combo, undated

Translated by RFERL.

In her recent letter sent from prison human rights advocate Leyla Yunus writes of recent intimidation and the conditions she is being held in.

Leyla Yunus 58, was arrested in July. A month later, her husband Arif Yunus was also arrested The couple is charged with high treason, spying for Armenia, illegal business activities, document forgery and fraud.

Torture once again....

On November 25th, close to 5:30 p.m., when the sky had already gotten dark, I was dozing on my bench in the cell. Suddenly the cell door opened with a terrible thud and several men quickly walked in. I don't remember exactly how many there were. They were all young, dressed in civilian clothes and winter coats. I was terrified -- the events of September 23 flashed in front of my eyes, the day when some men entered this very same cell and pushed me out to a separate room where I was beaten by Major Yagubov.

I have severe headaches every days from those blows to the head on September 23 and I can't walk, I sleep without a warm scarf over my head...

And these young men who had entered the room somehow spread themselves around the cell, and one of them, in a black overcoat, walked up to my bench. He smiled in a very vile way and gestured towards me with his lips and his hands, a gesture that men make towards prostitutes.

I was trembling and I screamed, "Who are you?" He smiled even more vilely and looked around at the other men, then moved even closer to me. And I became hysterical -- I screamed wildly, never in my life have I screamed so hysterically. I screamed, "Get out! I won't give in! Bastards! Vermin! Animals!...

I was just convulsed with hysterics. They stepped away to talk about something and then they left the cell. I remained in hysterics. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't calm down.

Where do they raise men like this, who receive pleasure from mocking and humiliating the sick and elderly...

The next morning uniformed detention workers came into the cell. I got very frightened all over again. I didn't understand when they were saying, I just cried. They left. Then in the afternoon they came again and said that I was being reprimanded for insulting medical doctors (??!!)

Physically, I am completely destroyed.

Their goal is to continue the mockery and humiliation and to completely destroy me psychologically.

Leyla Yunus