ANNE DERSE: “LEYLA YUNUS NEEDS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HER RIGHTS”

January 28th, 2009
The U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse expressed her position on the lawsuit of Internal Minister Ramil Usubov against the Chairperson of the Institute for Peace and Democracy Director Leyla Yunus. According to “Turan” Information Agency (27 January), the ambassador said, although she did not want to comment on the case since its consideration is underway, “I am simply asking a question, ’Why this kind of case is considered in court? This question originates from democratic and human rights principles.”

Leyla Yunus has to benefit from her democratic rights like every citizen of Azerbaijan, added Derse. “Everyone can ask their government questions and can criticize the activity of their government,” said Anne Derse.
 
Ramil Usubov filed a lawsuit in the Nasimi District Court against human rights defender Leyla Yunus over libel allegedly committed against the Ministry of Interior during her interview to day.az site on 3 December. Leyla Yunus' legal address was shown incorrectly in the lawsuit. Due to the motion of defense lawyer the hearing will continue in the Yasamal District Court.
 
The Minister demands that Yunus refute regarding her interview, apologize to the ministry and pay 100 000 AZN in compensation for moral damages.