UPDATE: On December 10, 2015 Azerbaijani authorities released Leyla Yunus from jail on humanitarian grounds due to her deteriorating health conditions. Her jail sentence has been suspended and she has been placed on probation for 5 years. Despite being released from prison, Leyla still faces charges of treason, tax evasion and fraud.
Azerbaijan’s Baku Grave Crimes court is sending human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband, Arif Yunus, to prison after a trial international activists describe as a sloppy attempt to silence dissent. The court sentenced Leyla and Arif to eight and a half years and seven years, respectively for large-scale fraud, forgery, tax evasion, and illegal business.
Azerbaijani authorities arrested Leyla and Arif in July 2014. Both activists have been denied adequate health care for serious medical conditions while awaiting trial; Leyla suffers from diabetes and hepatitis C.
Activists and human rights organizations from around the world are intensifying their call to #FreeLeyla and Arif, who still face charges of state treason (to be addressed in a subsequent trial).
Help us support Leyla and her husband by signing Amnesty International’s petition to release them.
Follow the hashtag #FreeLeyla and share updates with your networks.
AZERBAIJAN: Verdict against Leyla and Arif Yunus is outrageous and must be nullified, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), 13 Aug 2015.
Azerbaijan: Trial against Leyla and Arif Yunus: Fainting of Mr. Yunusov and hurdles to trial observers, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), 3 Aug 2015.