This is a user generated content for MyStory, a YourStory initiative to enable its community to contribute and have their voices heard. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of YourStory.

Freedom of speech in Azerbaijan

Story of one Writer

Thursday December 15, 2016,

3 min Read

Elkhan Zeynalli aka Qaraqan presents a powerful poetic voice in Azerbaijan. From a long spoken word tradition repressed in Soviet times. He has published seven novels which all are bestsellers in his homeland. He received a presidential scholarship for achievements in literature, was announced as author of the year for 2010.

He is a founder of one of the most powerful youth movements in Azerbaijan. 

In his book "Angel" story about freedom and it's problems in Azerbaijan. Dictator of Aliyev regime and fight against it make this book illegal in Azerbaijan. He was imprisoned several times and government forces him to stop his books about freedom, Qaraqan is one of a cult persons of Azerbaijan like Nelson Mandela, Bob Dylan. 

Book - "Angel" short part

"That's why it has affected so many people. Angel was like a white flag, white dove of peace and freedom of the Azerbaijani people. It was important for them that the tip of the authorities was involved, they needed a reason they could cling to, the evidence that would convict them of all earthly woes. While officials were busy with disputes there appeared more and more people in the streets. It cheered me up. I was hoping that the people will rise against them and release the Angel. After all, they were no better than the rest of the people, they were as much a part of the nation. They has the same hairy armpits, the same sweaty bodies and rotting teeth. They were just like every Azerbaijani man snoring loud during sleep, drinking tea with sugar, watching TV at night and being late for work in the morning. Although they did their best to hide their “Azerbaijanism”: dressed into black expensive suits, drove huge jeeps, and visited glamorous restaurants. But even all the money in the world could not bring them a centimeter closer to Europeans, which they wanted to be like. Those people did not understand it, this nation did not understand it. The people who used to bow their heads to the Soviets, knew only how to obey silently and idolize dictators - Lenin, Stalin, the great Russian empire. They trembled before the laws created somewhere in the Kremlin. And they didn’t know that if anyone ever shouted “Azadlig” (Freedom) in the street it will be heard by at least five officers in the next three buildings." 

Qaraqan represents democracy, freedom of speech and courage against dictator. 

"Police cars drove randomly around the city. There were no orders from the top, and each of them was just doing what he thought was necessary at this time. Sirens shouted down the screaming people, and every second there were more and more of them. People left their homes, offices, restaurants, tried to call their relatives, so that they could follow their example. Crying “Freedom to the Angel” the crowd moved towards the Azadlig Square. I was filled with faith and confidence that we will save Angel. Footage shown before hit the internet and spread in the network. Young people who do not watch national television, also joined the protests. With every minute the number of people grew.

Meanwhile, in the hall of the Cabinet of Ministers a fight started. Some people thought that the had to report everything to the president before he saw those images, others were trying to stop them, hoping not to get caught in the dirty business. “We are doomed! They show it on all channels! Video is already online! Soon the whole world will know about our shame!”