FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Detention of Human Rights Defender Leyla Yunus
October 15, 2014
The United States is alarmed that human rights defender Leyla Yunus remains in pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan, without access to necessary medical care, despite her deteriorating health. We are also especially concerned about continued threats to Leyla Yunus’ physical security. On humanitarian grounds, we urge the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately grant Leyla Yunus access to independent medical evaluation and care, security, and improved conditions. We also urge the Government of Azerbaijan to respect the rule of law and to release those incarcerated for exercising fundamental freedoms, starting with those with serious medical conditions. This would include Leyla and her husband Arif, whose deteriorating health make their release particularly urgent. It is in Azerbaijan’s interest to ensure that its citizens are afforded the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms to which all citizens are entitled under Azerbaijan’s international obligations.