Leyla Yunus’ health deteriorates sharply

    The jailed human rights defender Leyla Yunus’ health has severely deteriorated, her lawyer Elchin Gambarov reported on November 17.   Yunus has not been transferred to the prison medical facility despite her poor health, and nor is she receiving the medicatios prescribed by her German doctor.   Gambarov said that Leyla Yunus’ poor physical health is also affecting her mental wellbeing, and that the failure to move his client to the medical facility constitutes severe torture. “I have sent multiple requests noting that she is in a critical condition and...

Leyla and Arif Yunus’ case returned to Grave Crimes Court

  Leyla and Arif Yunus’ case returned to Grave Crimes Court Summary: Hearing 3 (20 October)    Lawyer Elchin Sadigov familiarised himself with the minutes of the hearings conducted at the Grave Crimes Court and added his comments; the case was referred to the court of first instance for a decision regarding the comments. The appeal hearing was postponed indefinitely.                                                          ...

Investigation of Rauf Mirgadirov’s case completed

 The investigation of the criminal case against journalist Rauf Mirgadirov has been completed, reported his lawyer Fuad Agayev said on 13 October. The lawyer said that he is currently familiarising himself with the criminal case materials.   Background: Journalist Rauf Mirgadirov was detained on 19 April 2014 after being deported to Baku from Turkey. He was charged with spying for Armenia (treason). Mirgadirov rejects the charges, calling them absurd.   The preparatory hearing is scheduled for 4 November.

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...

Rauf Mirgadirov's detention term extended again

  Summary: First Hearing (September 4)   ·      The objection by Rauf Mirgadirov’s lawyer to the judge was considered and accepted; ·      The case was heard by Nasimi District Court judge Azer Pashayev; ·      Rauf Mirgadirov’s detention period was extended.   On September 4, Nasimi District Court considered the extension of the pretrial detention of journalist Rauf Mirgadirov. The hearing was held behind closed doors. Mirgadirov was brought to court for the hearing.    The court heard the objection filed by Mirgadirov’s lawyer, Elmar Suleymanov, to the judge assigned to the case, Shalala Hasanova....

Appeal against sentencing of Leyla and Arif Yunus

  Lawyer Elchin Gambarov stated on September 3 that the Baku Grave Crimes Court verdict issued against human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus has been appealed. The lawyer also noted that when he met with Leyla Yunus on September 2, her health had not improved.   Arif Yunus’ lawyer Afgan Mammadov met with his client on September 1 at the Ministry of National Security detention facility, and found Yunus’ condition stable.   Background: Leyla and Arif Yunus were arrested in late July and early August 2014. Leyla Yunus was...

Final dispatch from the trial of human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus, sentenced to 8.5 and seven years in jail

 Summary: Final hearing (August 13)   The lawyers of Leyla and Arif Yunus made closing arguments, calling the charges against their clients unfounded and requesting their acquittal from the court; Arif Yunus made his final speech, thanking Leyla Yunus and speaking about his daughter, Dinara Yunus; The court issued a verdict sentencing Leyla Yunus to 8.5 years and Arif Yunus to seven years in jail, as well as confiscation of their property. On 13 August, the Baku Court of Grave Crimes heard the criminal case against the human rights defenders...

Azerbaijan: Sport for Rights coalition condemns conviction of human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus

  JOINT STATEMENT   Azerbaijan: Sport for Rights coalition condemns conviction of human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus   The Sport for Rights coalition condemns the conviction and harsh sentencing of Azerbaijani human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus on 13 August by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes. After a trial marred by irregularities and due process violations, the court convicted the couple on politically motivated charges including illegal entrepreneurship, tax evasion, and fraud, and sentenced Leyla to 8.5 years in jail, and Arif to seven.   "These sentences are outrageous, and aimed...

Prosecutor seeks 11-year sentence for Leyla Yunus and 9-year sentence for Arif Yunus

    Summary: Hearing #6 (August 6)    Arif Yunus’ health rapidly deteriorated, causing him to lose consciousness. The judge announced a break to call an ambulance;  The public prosecutor requested an 11-year sentence for Leyla Yunus and a 9-year sentence for Arif Yunus;  Defense lawyers were given minimal time to prepare their speeches.       Today ( August 6), the Baku Grave Crimes Court held another hearing on the case of human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus, with Judge Afgan Hajiyev presiding.   Today’s hearing followed the partially closed format of...

The hearing continues despite of the deterioration of Arif Yunus' health

  The hearing continues despite of the deterioration of Arif Yunus' health   Summary: Hearing #5 (August 5)   Defense lawyers filed a written objection to the composition of the jury; Defense lawyers filed several motions: a) for the recognition of the "Azerbaijani Women for Peace and Democracy in the Caucasus" NGO as a victim, b) to drop several of the criminal charges, c) to invite representatives of international funding bodies that have granted funds to their clients and have contacts with them, and d) to include in the case materials of...
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