Accessibility links

Breaking News


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Azerbaijan to pay compensations to human rights activists Leyla Yunus and her husband, Arif Yunus, for "inadequate medical treatment" that led to "prolonged mental and physical suffering."

In a ruling made public on June 2 , the Strasbourg-based court ordered Baku to pay 15,000 euros ($17,000) to each applicant.

Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus were arrested in summer 2014 and sentenced to 8 1/2 and 7 years in prison, respectively, in August 2015 for alleged economic crimes.

They were released on health grounds late last year and their prison sentences reduced to suspended sentences.

The sentencings were denounced as a travesty of justice by the two defendants and international human rights groups.

Tolekan Ismailova

BISHKEK -- A prominent Kyrgyz rights defender who has sued President Almazbek Atambaev says she's been called in for questioning by the State Committee for National Security (UKMK).

Tolekan Ismailova, the director of the Bishkek-based Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan (One World-Kyrgyzstan) rights group, told RFE/RL on June 1 that she refused to comply with the UKMK request, saying it was invalid without an official subpoena.

According to Ismailova, the action by the UKMK was linked to her professional activities.

Ismailova and another well-known Kyrgyz rights defender, Aziza Abdyrasulova, have recently sued Atambaev for publicly calling the two women "saboteurs" last month.

Ismailova's group and Abdyrasulova have criticized Kyrgyz authorities for failing to review a number of criminal cases linked to deadly clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010.

On April 29, Ismailova's group strongly criticized a move by the authorities to seize a home belonging to Azimjan Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek political activist serving a life sentence after being convicted on charges linked to the deadly ethnic clashes.

Askarov has insisted the case is politically motivated.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More