Talysh Activist Mirzoev Flees Azerbaijan for Armenia; Requests Temporary Asylum
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.