Leading human rights activist Leyla Yunus has been charged with multiple crimes before an Azerbaijani court, including tax evasion, illegal business, two counts of fraud and ‘betrayal of the motherland’ (treason).
Yunus was forced before the Prosecutor-General’s office in Baku yesterday where she was charged with the crimes and put on a three month pretrial detention while authorities organise the case against her.
News of the activist’s arrest comes shortly after human rights organisation Amnesty International called for the Azerbaijani authorities to end the long running police harassment of Yunus and her family.
Yunus, who is a leading expert in Azerbaijan’s human rights movement, has been involved with Armenian-Azerbaijani projects for much of her career. It is believed that her arrest has been politically motivated after her work in freedom and equality areas became critical of the current regime.