Azerbaijan Extends Rights Activist's Pretrial Detention By 5 Months

By RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

February 18, 2015

BAKU -- A court in Azerbaijan has extended the pretrial detention of a prominent human rights activist by over five months.

Lawyer Elcin Qambarov told RFE/RL that a Baku court on February 18 ruled Leyla Yunus must stay in pretrial detention until July 28.

Yunus, 59, the founding director of the unregistered Peace and Democracy Institute in Baku, was arrested in July, 2014 on charges of high treason related to her work in Armenia, Azerbaijan's historical rival. 

Yunus's health is reported to have severely declined in detention. 

Her lawyers say she has been subjected to beatings and denied medical care for advanced liver disease. 

Yunus's husband, Arif Yunus, is also being held on similar charges. 

The couple says the cases against them are politically motivated.