Azerbaijan: Similar pre-trial detention fate for Leyla Yunus and Intigam Aliev

Following on from the decision of Nasimi District Court in Baku to extend the pre-trial detention of Rasul Jafarov the same fate has befallen two more prominent human rights defenders Leyla Yunus and Intigam Aliev. The relentless crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan has seen numerous journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders placed behind bars for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and association.

Civil Rights Defenders condemns the decision of the Azerbaijani Courts and is gravely concerned over the health of Leyla Yunus and Intigam Aliev. Civil Rights Defenders also demands that the authorities immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders so they can go back to doing their legitimate and vital work in bringing accountability to the surface in Azerbaijan

Both human rights defenders will now serve an extended pre-trial sentence that will see them behind bars until at least February 28 and February 8 2015 respectively.

“Civil Rights Defenders calls on the authorities to immediately release all human rights defenders in Azerbaijan and to guarantee an open, transparent and independent judicial process. It is clear that the government is intent on silencing the voices of all human rights defenders in the country while maintaining its iron grip on civil society and this must stop” says Roemer Lemaître Acting Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The Prosecutor’s Office once again succeeded in keeping Leyla Yunus and Intigam Aliev in prison following on the heels of the extension of Rasul Jafarov’s pre-trial detention which took place on October 23. The lawyer for Leyla Yunis has appealed the decision asking the Courts to have her placed under house arrest due to deteriorating health reasons. She has been subjected to physical attacks and harassment by prison guards and inmates while in pre trial detention since July 2014

About Leyla Yunus & Intigam Aliyev

Leyla Yunus, is an Azerbaijani human rights defender and the Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy (IPD) an organisation heavily involved in promoting rule of law having been particularly active in assisting people who have been subjected to forced evictions in Baku. Leyla and her organisation have faced ongoing harassment from the authorities as a result of her work in combatting corruption. She has received several awards in recognition of her work and has been kept in pre trial detention since July 2014.

Intigam Aliyev is a human rights lawyer and leader of the Legal Education Society a well- known Azerbaijani human right organisation that provides advice and support to several non-governmental organisations and economically disenfranchised groups. Intigam has been instrumental in submitting hundreds of cases to the European Court of Human Rights pertaining to vote rigging, freedom of speech abuses, and the right to a fair trial.  He was first sentenced to pre-trial detention on August 08, 2014 and will now be behind bars until at least February 08 of next year.

Categories: News.
Tags: Azerbaijan, Freedom of association, Freedom of Speech, Intigam Aliev, Leyla Yunus, and Rasul Jafarov.
Regions: Azerbaijan.