Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, released a statement yesterday through PEN International calling for the release of my friend and colleague, jailed Azerbaijani journalist, Khadija Ismayilova. Khadija translated The Kite Runner into Azerbaijani. Hosseini told PEN:
“I am deeply saddened by the news that the Azerbaijani government has arrested Khadija Ismayilova,” said Hosseini in a plea for the release of his Azeri translator. “As a writer, I value as sacred the freedom to write and share ideas without fear of persecution, a liberty essential to any sort of meaningful dialogue. The Azerbaijani government’s many attempts to silence Khadija and strip her of this freedom speak volumes about her courage and influence in the face of extreme oppression.”
“I am honored that Khadija was the voice that brought my story to Azerbaijan,” said Hosseini. “Now it is my time to add mine to hers. I hope the world will join me in calling for her immediate release and unconditional return to her important work as a journalist.”
“I Stand With Khadija Ismayilova,” December 8, 2014.