Press Release

December 9, 2015
Cardin Statement on the Release of Azerbaijani Rights Activist Leyla Yunus from Prison

WASHINGTONU.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the release of Azerbaijani rights activist Leyla Yunus from prison:


“Although I welcome today’s release of Leyla Yunus from her unjust imprisonment in Azerbaijan, the fabricated charges against her remain in place. All charges against Arif and Leyla Yunus should be unconditionally dismissed. I strongly urge that she be provided the best medical care as her health has deteriorated significantly over the course of her detention.  The imprisonment of the Yunus’s on trumped up charges represent a troubling crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan that has included the harassment and imprisonment of journalists, human rights defenders, and the attorneys that represent them. I welcome the release of Leyla Yunus today, but many other human rights defenders and civil society activists remain detained.  I again urge Azerbaijan to provide an environment in which all Azerbaijanis are able to express freely their views and beliefs without recrimination or punishment.”