International Human Rights Community calls to free Yunus

Following yesterday’s arrest of a prominent human rights defender and the Director of Peace and Democracy Institute, Leyla Yunus, international human rights and advocacy community has been vocal about this case. We present you the list (as it comes through) or organizations who have already raised the issue.

Human Rights House


UPDATED: Azerbaijan authorities detain Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus

“Human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus have been arrested on 30 July 2014. Leyla Yunus was sentenced to 3 months pre-trial detention, whilst her husband is under police control and not allowed to leave Baku. We call for Leyla Yunus’ immediate and unconditional release, as we see this as part of the persecution against human rights defenders and activists in Azerbaijan.”

Index On Censorship


Azerbaijan’s human rights defender charged with high treason

“Leyla Yunus has been charged with “high treason (article 274), tax evasion (article 213), illegal entrepreneurship (article 192), forged documentation (article 320) and fraud (article 178.3.2)”, reports

Meydan TV

. She has also been given three months of pre-trial detention, according to Azerbaijani journalist

Khadija Ismayilova

. Her husband Arif Yunus is

reportedly facing two charges

; state betrayal (article 274) and fraud.”

Amnesty International


Azerbaijan: Abysmal record of human rights continues as activist arrested

“Amnesty International believes that the treason charges against Leyla and Arif Yunus are trumped up and are part of a process of on-going harassment against them in connection with Leyla Yunus’s activism.”

Human Rights Watch


Azerbaijan: leading rights defender arrested

Azerbaijani authorities should immediately secure the release of leading human rights defender Leyla Yunus from pretrial custody, and drop the politically motivated charges against her and her husband Arif Yunus. The authorities should also end their ongoing harassment against the couple.

“The context leading up to these recent charges, including the harassment they have endured over the past four months, make it clear that the charges against Leyla and Arif Yunus are bogus and intended to silence them,” said

Rachel Denber

, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should immediately end this campaign of intimidation against Azerbaijan’s leading human rights defenders and allow them to work unimpeded.”

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