February 13, 2017
Photo courtesy of Hetq Online
Talysh journalist and activist Shahin Mirzoev has asked for temporary asylum in Armenia as a means of escaping persecution. Mirzoev and his family fled Azerbaijan following continued oppression at the hands of the government. As members of a minority community, Mirzoev and the Talysh people are subject to rife discrimination by local authorities on both religious and ethnic grounds.
The article below was published by Hetq Online:
Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the government of Armenia has reacted positively to a request from Shahin Mirzoev, a member of Talysh Cultural Council and the Talysh freedom movement in Azerbaijan, for temporary asylum in Armenia.
Mirzoev, a journalist at the “Tolishi Sado” (Voice of the Talysh) newspaper, who fled to Armenia with his family, says he was forced to flee Azerbaijan due to government persecution of ethnic and religious minorities.
The Talysh are an Iranian national group indigenous to a region shared between Azerbaijan and Iran. The number of Talysh speakers in 2003 was estimated to be at least 400,000 in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Talysh nationalists have always asserted that the number of Talysh in Azerbaijan is substantially higher than the official statistics.