Two human rights defenders currently being held as political prisoners in Azerbaijan have this week been nominated for the Human Rights Tulip award, which is awarded yearly by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The pair were included on a list of 30 international human rights activists and groups who have done exceptional work in the area of human rights.
Rasul Jafrov was nominated for his work with NGO Art For Democracy which saw him persecuted by the Azerbaijani government for views deemed to be anti-regime. He is currently serving a prison sentence for tax evasion and abuse of power which has been labelled a false charge by his supporters.
Leyla Yunus was nominated for her work promoting women’s rights and peacebuilding in Azerbaijan and for her work as chair of Azerbaijan’s Institute for Peace and Democracy. Yunu was arrested earlier this year and charged with ‘betrayal of the motherland’ following an ongoing ordeal involving harassment from state-authorities for her promotion of democracy in Azerbaijan.
Voting is now open for the award and will close on October 10th. For more information visit the Tulip Award’s official website here.