Supreme Court Partially Grants Human Rights Defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus’ Appeal

On 27 December, the Supreme Court held another hearing on the cassation appeal of human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus. According to Arif Yunus’ barrister Afgan Mammadov, the judicial panel partially granted the appeal.

Mammadov reminded that the appeal had been filed against Baku Appeal Court’s decision of 9 December 2015. “The above-said decision replaced Arif and Leyla Yunus’ prison sentences with suspended sentences. The Supreme Court was requested to vacate this decision and to acquit the Yunus. The cassation appeal was filed in February of 2016,” the lawyer said. “The cassation appeal was considered by Judge Hafiz Nasibov, and was partially granted. That is, Baku Appeal Court’s decision was repealed, and the case was returned for review by the appellate court.”

Afgan Mammadov said he did not know what exactly stood behind the words ‘appeal was partially granted’. “We have not been provided a copy of the decision. We do not know what it says there. What we do know is that the appeal has been partially granted. As the case will be returned to the Appeal Court after this decision of the Supreme Court, Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgment on the imprisonment of Leyla and Arif Yunus becomes effective. But, I don’t think they will be prosecuted or declared wanted,” Mammadov added.

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