Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, a small country between Russia and Iran in Eurasia, has at least 119 political prisoners: lawyers, journalists, bloggers, youth, civil society and religious activists. All imprisoned for speaking out against injustice, for standing up for fundamental freedoms and human rights. Thrown behind bars on trumped up charges without a chance for a fair trial, kept in cold cells, tortured and deprived from family visits, these people need your help.
Most of the Azerbaijani political prisoners are a breadwinner of their families. They are in prison now and their families are in a hard situation both morally and financially. Help us raise money for basic necessities for some families of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.
People in DC Metropolitan area, you can also come and learn more information on Azerbaijani political prisoners, see an exhibit by popular Azerbaijani dissident photographers and find out how you can help Azerbaijani political prisoners and their families. Sign a postcard for a prisoner, raise this issue with your Congress member or bring your own idea on how we can help them. The event will be held on January 31, 2017 at 6:30 pm, at WeWork premises at 1342 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 USA.
As GoFundMe has asked to post online a bit more information, here are some updates:
My name is Tamara Grigoryeva, I'm a human rights advocate. I'm originally from Azerbaijan, and I'm based in Washington, DC. I work for a human rights NGO, Freedom House (freedomhose.org), and I largely focus on Azerbaijan. You can also see me here on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/tamara.grigoryeva.9) and here on LinkedIn ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamaragrigoryeva?trk=hp-identity-name). You can find some of the articles that I wrote on the issue that this campaign is about, right here ( https://freedomhouse.org/content/freedom-house-search?as_q=tamara%20grigoryeva)
My relationship to the parties that the funds are being raised for is simple: some of them are my friends, others are my colleagues, others are simply the people on whose behalf I have advocated for their freedom and release from prison. I'm weekly if not daily in touch with the families of these people, as I can't be in touch with the people who are in prison. I don't think those who have donated have any questions of doubts regarding the prisoners we are raising the money for and the political grounds that they are being arrested on. Nevertheless, for GoFundMe purposes solely, here are are a few links from respected organizations, to explain why those people are in prison and why they need help:
These people are in prison for speaking up against gross human rights violations. Most of them are men, and they were bread-winners of their families. Now not only their families don't have those bread-winners, but they also need to find money to visit them in prison and bring them food. This is why I and a fellow activist are raising money for them. We will also, as described before, have an event at the end of the campaign. You can see details about it here:
The money will be distributed among 15 families of political prisoners. An average amount per family will be slightly over 200 dollars. The money will be spent on families' visits to their beloved political prisoners in prisons, bringing food for the political prisoners and other necessities. The money will be distributed via trusted people, and we will have each family sign a cash receipt form, the forms will be posted here.