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Second Lawyer Barred From Defending Azerbaijan's Yunus

A second lawyer has been barred from defending jailed Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunus.

Xalid Bagirov told RFE/RL that he was not allowed to meet with his client in a pretrial detention center in Baku on November 5.

He said he was told he had been barred from defending Yunus by Azerbaijan's the prosecutor-general, but no reason was given.

Last week, Yunus said that another lawyer, Cavad Cavadov, had been barred from representing her in court.

Yunus, 58, is a fierce critic of Azerbaijan's poor rights record.

She and her husband, Arif Yunus, 59, were arrested in July and August, respectively, and charged with high treason and other crimes.

The couple says the charges are politically motivated.

Western governments and human rights groups have called for the couple's immediate release.

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

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