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Author: Valentin Luntumbue

Peace is still far from reach

A conversation with Leyla and Arif Yunus, Azerbaijani human rights activists. Interviewer: Valentin Luntumbue.

VALENTIN LUNTUMBUE: I would like to begin by talking about the beginning of your engagement in the last hours of the Soviet Union, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the rise to power of Heydar Aliyev?

LEYLA YUNUS (LY): We are both historians and we began our work during the Soviet times. I was a member of the underground movement of national minorities against the Soviet regime and we were working with an underground newspaper, published in Moscow, called Express Khronika. The chief editor was Aleksandr Podrabinek. They had correspondents in different countries including Georgia, Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine; and we were responsible for Azerbaijan, together with Arif.

April 26, 2018 - Valentin Luntumbue

Azerbaijan’s civil society exiled from a captured state

The Azerbaijani opposition has survived, even though the civil society has been significantly repressed. They have observed Ukraine and Georgia and learnt from the two countries successes and mistakes. Next time Ilham Aliyev’s power is shaken, they will be ready to act.

November 6, 2017 - Valentin Luntumbue

In Tbilisi, with exiled members of Azerbaijan’s civil society

In the years 2013 to 2015, following the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine and the shady re-election of Azeri president Ilham Aliyev, for a third term, the Azerbaijani government, already one of the most restrictive dictatorships of the European continent, introduced a series of new laws and regulations affecting NGOs, their funding, and their activities. This allowed for an unprecedented crackdown on the NGO sector between 2014 and 2016.

October 27, 2017 - Valentin Luntumbue

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