Nobel Women Initiative calls for an immediate release of Leyla Yunus

The Nobel Women Initiative, known for its work with courageous women Peace Laureates to increase the power and visibility of women’s groups working globally for peace, justice and equality has issued a


, calling for an immediate release of human rights advocate Leyla Yunus.


The Nobel Women’s Initiative calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to

release human rights defenders

Leyla Yunus

and her husband Arif Yunus

. Leyla is the founding director of the

Peace and Democracy Institute in Baku

and a friend of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. The activists have been detained now for over two weeks.

Leyla Yunus’ health has dramatically deteriorated while in prison. The prosecutor’s office is delaying the processing of her request for medication and refuses to hospitalize her. The Nobel Women’s Initiative urges Azerbaijani authorities to immediately provide all necessary medical care for Leyla Yunus and her spouse. Their safety and wellbeing are the absolute responsibility of the Azerbaijani government.

These arrests are part of

ongoing restrictions and pressure on civil society activists

in Azerbaijan and an

increasing trend of harassment of women human rights defenders


. The United Nations General Assembly passed a landmark resolution last year calling on all states to

support and defend women human rights defenders

such as Leyla Yunus. The Azerbaijani authorities must honor its international obligations as a signatory of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and end the campaign of intimidation against human rights activists. We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to

immediately release Leyla and Arif Yunus


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