Jailed human rights defender Leyla Yunus gives statement about her health


On 30 September, human rights defender Leyla Yunus, currently being held at the Baku detention facility, provided a telephone update on her medical condition to Turan Information Agency Director Mehman Aliyev. Yunus said that she had refused a blood test that morning. She told Turan that in December 2014, she had been placed into a punishment cell for a similar action, and is worried that this could happen again.


“The responsibility for my health lies with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice, because a Health Ministry representative was also present during my checkup. I believe that I could face violence again.”.


Background: Leyla and Arif Yunus were arrested in late July and early August 2014,. Leyla Yunus was charged under articles 178.3.2 (large scale fraud), 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship), 213.2.2 (tax evasion), 274 (treason), 320.1 and 320.2 (falsification of documents). Arif Yunus was charged under articles 178.3.2 (large scale fraud) and 274 (treason).


The prosecuting authority subsequently decided to investigate the treason charge in separate proceedings. Amnesty International has recognized Leyla and Arif Yunus as prisoners of conscience.


Leyla and Arif Yunus have been sentenced to 8.5 and 7 years in jail respectively by the Baku Grave Crimes Court. 


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