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U.S. Senator Calls On Azerbaijan To Free Jailed Rights Activist

  • RFE/RL

A senior U.S. senator says Azerbaijan should free human rights activist Leyla Yunus and that the jailed government critic must be given access to lawyers and doctors.

“Leyla Yunus needs access to her lawyers and she needs medical care. Azerbaijan should release her immediately,” U.S. Senator Ben Cardin said October 31 on his Twitter feed.

Yunus said in a letter this week that her lawyer, Cavad Cavadov, has been barred from representing her in court.

Yunus and her husband, Arif Yunus, were arrested this past summer and charged with high treason, allegations the couple calls politically motivated.

A Baku court this week ordered Arif Yunus and another jailed rights activists, Rasul Jafarov, to remain in pre-trial detention.

Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, called the rulings “punitive and unwarranted” in a separate October 31 Tweet.

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