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Boris Navasardyan: Detaining of Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunusov shows aspiration of the Azerbaijani authorities to limit the activity of the human rights protection organizations in the country very much

  • by Marianna Mkrtchyan

  • Tuesday, April 29, 16:21

Today's detaining of Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunusov shows aspiration of the Azerbaijani authorities to limit the activity of the human rights protection organizations in the country very much, chairman of the Yerevan Press Club, Boris Navasardyan, said when commenting on the detaining.

He also added that the position of intelligence services of Azerbaijan is much motivated not by cooperation of the human rights defenders with their Armenian counterparts, but by an attempt to jeopardize the activity of the human rights protecting organization in Azerbaijan, in general. That is to say, it is more a local problem. he said. Navasarsyan thinks that such actions mean that the attempts of the Armenians and Azerbaijanis , representatives of both civil societies to establish at least any dialogue are absolutely ruled out by the political regime of Baku. Moreover, they are placed in jeopardy of reprisal, he said. 

To note, the Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD ) Leyla Yunus on Tuesday at 7.00 was taken for questioning to the Investigation Department of Grave Crimes of the General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan. The head of IPD was detained in the Baku airport late in the evening yesterday.

Her husband was hospitalized in a pre-stroke condition, Turan reported.

They were detained at departure to Doha, then to Paris and then to Brussels for an event under the auspices of the EU.

During the search at the airport, to which the lawyer Khalid Baghirov was not allowed, the couple was seized a laptop and paper records.

From the airport the spouses about 03.00 were delivered to their apartment to conduct a search.

L.Yunus refused to open the door to conduct a search. She said that she would agree only if civil society activists were present at the same time. The human rights activist said she did not trust law enforcement and they could plant something in the apartment.
In turn, law enforcement officials threatened to break the door, if they did not open it.

Then they tried to persuade the owners to open the door, assuring that it was "just a formal procedure" and discussed the option of entering the apartment for 5 people from law enforcement and civil society activists.

However, after about 4.00 Arif Yunus became ill and was hospitalized in a pre-stroke condition, and IMD director flatly refused to negotiate and said that if the door was broken , she would not participate in the search.

It is assumed that the detention of the spouses Yunus at the airport is due to the criminal case against the journalist Rauf Mirkadirov, who was arrested on charges of spying for Armenia. Mirkadyrov participated in projects that IPD implemented with civil society partners from Armenia.

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