Transitions Online, Czech Rep.

Nov 28 2014

The health of imprisoned Azerbaijani dissident Leyla Yunus is declining
to a life-threatening degree, according to several reports.

Ramiz Mammadov, Yunus' lawyer, said she "is more dead than alive
and her health is deteriorating" at such speed that she is "possibly
living the last weeks of her life," according to the BBC's Azerbaijani

The founding director of the Baku-based Institute for Peace and
Democracy, Yunus has long been a critic of President Ilham Aliev's
regime and an advocate of reconciliation with neighboring Armenia over
the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. She has been in pretrial
detention since late July, when she was arrested and accused of tax
evasion, forgery, fraud, and passing state secrets to Armenia.

A human rights watchdog group said Yunus has not been allowed to
receive medication for her diabetes or a kidney disorder, spurring
her rapid deterioration. She can no longer eat or move, her weight
has dropped from 61 to 48 kilograms (134 to 106 pounds), and blood
tests showed failing liver function, according to the Observatory
for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a program co-run by
the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT). Yunus is a member of
Geneva-based OMCT's general assembly.

OMCT also reports that, after visiting Yunus in prison at the end of
October, Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's commissioner for
human rights, said her health problems were serious and that Yunus
had cried throughout their meeting.

Azerbaijani authorities insist that an official checkup showed Yunus'
health to be "satisfactory," the BBC reports.


From: Baghdasarian