First they beat my head with steel rods, and I nearly died.
They arrested me. Fined me. Harassed me. Charged me with absurd and inconceivable accusations.
My editor-in-chief, Elmar Huseynov, was assassinated.
I am a journalist who challenged my government, and paid a terrible price for it. Four years of my life were stolen.
In prison, I was between life and death. Life in a torture chamber became pointless, ceased its normal rhythms. Violence obliterated all signs of vitality.
On May 26 of this year, I regained my cherished liberty. I am absolutely confident that it was the tireless campaigning of Amnesty supporters like you that enabled me to return to my life.
For me, notions of Amnesty and good are identical. I am saved, but there are still people who must be rescued. They are expecting your help.
Just when it seemed everybody had forgotten me, unexpectedly I received hundreds of postcards from Amnesty USA. I was full of joy because I understood that such an influential organization was supporting me. I had not been forgotten.
I was greatly surprised at postcards from children. Three-, four- and five-year-old children sent me pictures made by them personally. It was so touching and tender.
These children are sure to fight for human rights and justice. No one can take that consciousness away from them.
I am grateful to you. You have saved my family from death, and I’ll never forget you to the end of my life. It is my mission to serve the ideals advocated by Amnesty International every hour, every day, every year.
JOURNALIST, FORMER PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE, AZERBAIJAN