by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan
Vesna Human Rights Center (Belarus) has released a statement on detention of the well-known human rights activists Leyla and Arif Yunus in Azerbaijan.
BelaPAN, an independent news agency in Belarus, reports that the Vesna members think the detention of the couple is connected with their human rights activities.
"Leyla Yunus has prepared a list of Azeri state officials privy to human rights violation so that the European Union and the USA could impose personal sanctions on those persons", says the statement.
The authors of the statement point out the regular cases of human rights violation in Azerbaijan, the politically charged persecution against the democracy activists, public figures and human rights activists, who are brought to criminal responsibility under framed-up cases.
About 2 months ago, human rights activist Anar Mammadli, Head of the Elections Monitoring and Democracy Training Center, was sentenced to 5.5 years in jail in Baku for "the disclosure of fraud during the presidential election of 2013". "These persecutions against the human rights activists cause indignation especially because since May 2014 Azerbaijan has been the Chair of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers", say the Belarussian activists.
The authors of the statement demand that the Azeri authorities should immediately release all the political prisoners and urge the EU and the USA "to take all possible measures to exert pressure on the Azeri Government" despite the economic contacts with Azerbaijan. Vesna also calls on the civil society of Belarus to join the statement.