Azerbaijan Detains Human Rights Figure, Pressures Civil Society | Freedom House

Azerbaijan Detains Human Rights Figure, Pressures Civil Society

Washington

Freedom House deplores the detention of Azerbaijani human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband on April 28 as they were boarding a plane in the Baku airport. Mrs. Yunus was released April 29, following questioning about ties to journalist Rauf Mirkadyrov, who was arrested earlier on dubious charges of spying for Armenia. The police guarding Mrs. Yunus subjected her to humiliating treatment by preventing her from using the bathroom. Her husband has been hospitalized with heart problems following their detention at the airport.

"The government of Azerbaijan is trying to silence the county’s remaining civil society and pro-democracy activists,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “It is especially appalling that the government is targeting those activists who participated in diplomatic efforts with Armenia, as Azerbaijan prepares to assume the chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.”

Azerbaijan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2013 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013. 

To learn more about Azerbaijan, visit:
Azerbaijan Charges Journalist with Espionage after Deportation by Turkey
Freedom in the World 2013: Azerbaijan
Freedom of the Press 2013: Azerbaijan
Freedom on the Net 2013: Azerbaijan
Blog: Freedom at Issue

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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