Human Rights Defenders Are in Critical Condition


The director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus are both in critical condition, reported a family friend, psychologist Azad Isazade.


Arif and Leyla Yunus were arrested in 2014. On August 13, 2015, Baku Grave Crimes Court sentenced Arif Yunus to 7 years and Leyla Yunus to 8.5 years in jail. On December 9, 2015, Baku Court of Appeal commuted their prison sentences into suspended sentences with 5-year probation, and both were released. 


According to Isazade, Leyla and Arif Yunus are receiving medical treatment but both of them are in critical condition. “Arif Yunus has high blood pressure and his heart palpitations have slowed down, which shows how critical his condition is. It is impossible to normalize his blood pressure because his heart is seriously damage; he needs substantial treatment. Leyla Yunus’ chronic diseases have been exacerbated by her prison stay and her treatment is ongoing,” said Isazade.


He said that the human rights defenders are not communicating with the public because they are preoccupied with their health problems.

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