Accessibility links

Breaking News

Baku Detains Human Rights Advocate

Leyla Yunus, director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, in May 2012
Authorities in Azerbaijan have detained the country's most prominent human rights activist, Leyla Yunus, and her husband, Arif Yunus, at Baku airport as they prepared to travel to Doha.

Yunus told RFE/RL from the airport that airport security agents and investigators told her she may not leave the country.

She said her lawyer, Khalid Bagirov, came to the airport, but was not being allowed to see her.

Bagirov told RFE/RL that she is most likely being detained in connection with the recent arrest of journalist, Rauf Mirqadirov, who was extradited from Turkey and arrested on his arrival to Baku on April 20 on charges of spying for Armenia.

Yunus, founder and director of the Peace and Democracy Institute, a Baku-based NGO, was actively involved for many years in people-to-people diplomacy with Armenian counterparts.