Freed Journalist's Letter of Thanks to Amnesty Activists

June 19, 2011

Eynulla Fatullayev © Private

Just days after Amnesty activists organized a mass social media push to free imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev last month, he was finally freed on May 26th.

Eynulla wanted us to pass on this letter to everyone who worked for his release to express his deepest thanks for your support.

To all Amnesty International activists

Dear friends,

I am a former prisoner of conscience – Eynulla Fatullayev. The other day I regained my cherished liberty, thanks to the efforts of the international community. I’m absolutely confident that it was your support and tireless struggle for my rights that enabled me to return to my life.

The Azerbaijani political regime of criminal despotism kept me behind bars for about four years. I was repeatedly transferred from one prison into another, charged with absurd and inconceivable accusations. All of these cruel and merciless repressive measures served their purpose: to keep the journalist who proved courageous enough to challenge this criminal regime imprisoned as long as possible. I was between life and death. I witnessed much evil and bearers of evil. The evil was my daily routine, for I was subjected to the rule of awful people. And there was one reason for this: I strived to express my view of the corrupt thieves who ruined the future of my country.

At present, trying to rebuild my life, I clearly see that life in torture-chambers becomes pointless, ceases its normal rhythms. Life in prison is supressed, for the violence is eager to obliterate all signs of vitality and viability.

However, it was you, my friends and saviors from the Amnesty International that kept alight the flame of hope in my soul. I received messages from you while at the remotest places and desperate situations. These messages gave comfort to my soul, inspired hope in dead-end situations. Your campaign, your letters- they sustained hope in me, helped me out of the abyss of despair. Amnesty International has once again proved its inestimable worth, its hope for salvation.

I am grateful to you. You have saved my family from death, and I’ll never forget you, to the end of my life. I was not alone in my prison, in winter or summer, on dark or bright days. And again – it was Amnesty International that contributed to this. Many people in my country – my readers, supporters and ordinary well-wishers were sure that I’d leave the country to avoid further persecution. However, I have no moral right to do that, for my salvation and release are feasible together with the salvation of our society suppressed by this authoritarian power. It is my mission to serve the ideals advocated by Amnesty International every hour, every day, every year. It is our mission to save this world from injustice. For this to happen, it is essential to set conscience into motion. As one of my favorite writers Fazil Iskander put it, “nobody and never in the history has ever tried to make conscience as principal instrument of national government. I don’t mean the only one, I mean the principal one. Should we ask God, if we could rule people with the help of conscience, he would reply: I meant this through my Son, however, no ruler would dare to”.

Thank you very much for your service to conscience and God, for conscience is God’s presence in us.

I bow my head to you all.

Yours respectfully,

Eynulla Fatullayev,
Prisoner of conscience in a non-free country