Leyla and Arif Yunus should be released not sentenced and civil society protected in Azerbaijan

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, condemns the trial and sentencing of Leyla Yunus, a human rights defender, and her husband and calls for their immediate release.

Leyla Yunus was convicted today for financial misconduct and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison and Arif Yunus was sentenced to seven years.

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.

“Leyla and Arif Yunus must be freed. Transparency International condemns the courts for pursuing what is clearly a politically motivated legal action. Leyla and Arif are unwell and have been badly treated in prison. They must be set free immediately, not least so they can receive urgent medical care,” Anne Koch, regional director for Europe and Central Asia.

Transparency International joins with other human rights defenders condemning the trial and calls on the government of Azerbaijan to release the Yunus’.

“The trial of the Yunus’ should never have happened. It hurts all civil society in Azerbaijan,” said Koch.


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