Amnesty International calls for investigation into the beating of Leyla Yunus

Amnesty International issued a statement about the beating of the human rights activist Leyla Yunus in the detention center in Baku on September 23.

The statement reads that Azerbaijani human rights defender Leyla Yunus was beaten in the Kurdakhany detention facility by the administration staff on 23 September. Conditions in her cell remain dire, which aggravates her already weakened health.

Leyla Yunus’s lawyers told Azerbaijani media that on 23 September a detention centre warden twisted Leyla Yunus’s hands and forced her to leave her cell for the next empty room where she was thrown on the floor and the warden began pulling her hair. He yelled at Leyla Yunus: “Well, you do not want to grow wiser?” after which, the warden started hitting her in the kidneys.

Leyla Yunus, who is 60 years old, has diabetes and medical problems related to her kidneys. As a result, she requires appropriate medication, as well as a specialized diet, which she has not always received in detention. This beating came after she complained repeatedly about being mistreated and the conditions being made worse in the detention facility.

Leyla Yunus’s lawyers also said that in last few days there was no hot water in Leyla Yunus’s cell, and she had to take cold showers. As a result, she caught a severe cold, and had a high fever. In spite of this, she had not been provided with any medical care.

The lawyers tried unsuccessfully to contact Leyla Yunus for two days. They were eventually permitted to see her on 24 September.

Leyla Yunus was arrested on 30 July on trumped-up charges of treason and other crimes. Her husband, Arif Yunus, was under travel restrictions until he was arrested on 5 August, on similar charges. -16D--

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