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Armenian Journalist Sends Open Letter To Jailed Azerbaijani Activist

Azerbaijani human rights defender Leyla Yunus
Azerbaijani human rights defender Leyla Yunus

A leading Armenian journalist has voiced concern over the fate of Leyla Yunus, a prominent human rights activist imprisoned in Azerbaijan, amid reports about Yunus's deteriorating health.

Laura Baghdasarian, who heads a research center at a Yerevan-based nongovernmental organization, published an open letter condemning the persecution of her 58-year-old colleague with whom she carried out different regional media programs for years.

Baghdasarian told RFE/RL she had chosen not to speak out for quite a long time as she feared that support and sympathy from Yerevan would only aggravate the situation of Yunus, who, along with her husband Arif, was arrested in Baku last summer on charges of high treason and espionage in favor of Armenia.

Yunus is a fierce critic of Azerbaijan's poor rights record.

Lawyer Elcin Qambarov said earlier this week that a detention center doctor who examined Yunus recently said she suffers from advanced liver disease and a high blood-sugar level.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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