Transparency International calls for release of Azerbaijani human rights activists

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



As the trial re-commences of prominent human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus, Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, calls for their immediate release.

A chorus of international observers has raised serious concerns over the wellbeing of both Leyla and Arif while in custody, as well as the potentially political nature of the trial.

Leyla Yunus was arrested on 30 July 2014 for alleged tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurial activities and other economic crimes, as well as treason. She faces years in prison if convicted on all charges. Leyla has diabetes and kidney problems, and authorities have not allowed her to be hospitalised or provided her with adequate medication; her health has deteriorated rapidly. Arif suffers from insomnia and high blood pressure.

Transparency International believes that both should be released on humanitarian grounds and because the conditions for a fair trial fall far short of internationally accepted standards.

The Council of Europe in its evaluation of Azerbaijan (published April 2015), reported:  “Although the principles of independence and separation of powers are enshrined in the Constitution and key laws, the institutional set up grants particularly strong powers to the President and the executive, which exercise considerable influence on the legislature and the judiciary, including the Prosecutor’s Office.”

At the Court hearing many independent observers from the media and civil society organisations were not permitted entry into the courtroom.

Anne Koch, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia at Transparency International, said: “The Government should demonstrate its commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights and immediately release Leyla and Arif Yunus.”


For any press enquiries please contact

E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 30 343820666

Solicitude

Support Transparency International

Is Hungary’s assault on the rule of law fuelling corruption?

In June 2018, Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws that criminalise any individual or group that offers help to an illegal immigrant. The laws continued worrying trends in the public arena that began with the rise to power of the Fidesz party in 2010. What are these trends, and what do they mean for the fight against corruption and the rule of law in Hungary?

Will the G20 deliver on anti-corruption in 2018?

This week, activists from civil society organisations all over the world gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the sixth annual Civil 20 (C20) summit.

Returning Nigerians’ stolen millions

The stakes are high in the planned distribution of $322 million in stolen Nigerian public money.

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Transparency International has been at the Open Government Partnership's global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Why rather

Follow us on Why rather