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2022, 18 May, çərşənbə, Bakı vaxtı 15:12

Dinara Yunus, "The first thing to do is to stop these double standards", Interview

Azerbaijan -- Arif, Leyla and Dinara Yunus during the International Theodor Hacker award ceremony

Azadliq Radiosu: You have been in Strasbourg last week talking about your parents. What is it that you are asking for?

Dinara Yunus: I have spent the past 7 months traveling around Europe, having different level meetings, where I speak about my parents' case, their health condition and their situation which has not changed since their arrest last summer. We still don't know when the hearings are going to take place. The only thing that keeps changing is the number of psychological tortures and humiliations my ill mom and weak in heart dad are exposed to. Frankly my only request during my meetings is to save my parents' lives.

I just came back from Strasbourg where I was for few days. People I met with, see the bigger picture – the overall crackdown on human rights in Azerbaijan. But still the cabinet of ministers is silent, and no serious measures are taken against Azerbaijani authority.

Overall, meetings were formal, some promising, some not so much. I also met PACE president Anne Brasser who is fully aware of my parent's case.​

But I am waiting for the outcomes. I am trying to stay positive and hope soon some things are going to change and my parents will be freed. I can say however that economic interests in Europe are higher than human rights situation in Azerbaijan. And as long as it stays this way my parents including other political prisoners will continue to suffer in horrifying Azerbaijani prisons.

Q: What do you mean by "serious measures"?

I have not heard the call for sanctions yet. Even though the resolutions adopted in the fall of 2014 mention the possibility of sanctions. That resolution also calls for an immediate release of my parents.

The on-going silence at the Council of Europe leaves my parents, Arif and Leyla Yunus prominent human rights defenders to die slowly and in pain while incarcerated.

The first thing to do is to stop these double standards.

Q: What about Leyla Yunus health? Have doctors shared with you test results?

There are no results at the moment. She is however suffering from a few medical conditions – high blood pressure, hepatitis c, and now she also caught flu. She is a diabetic.

And the prison continues mistreating my mom. They have taken away from her one thing she was able to eat – the oat flakes.

Q: Were you able to talk to any of your parents?

No. It is impossible to speak to my dad or mum.​