Leyla Yunus’ release welcomed

The Greens/EFA group welcomed news that Azerbaijani human rights activists Leyla Yunus and Aris Yunusov have been released from prison. The Greens/EFA group nominated Leyla Yunus for the 2014 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, for which she was among the shortlist of 3 final candidates. Commenting on the news, Green foreign affairs spokesperson Heidi Hautala (MEP, Finland) stated:

“The release of Leyla and Aris Yunus is very welcome. We have long urged the EU to proactively intervene with the Azeri authorities to help end their spurious and politically-motivated detention. With the couple’s fragile health situation, there are all the more reasons to be thankful for their release.”

“This release is a further step in the right direction by the Azerbaijani authorities, following the presidential pardon and the release of Intigam Aliyev last month. Hopefully, this can provide the basis for better cooperation between the EU and this important member of the Eastern Partnership. This is all the more important in the context of the renewed conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. We would now urge the release of the remaining political prisoners in Azerbaijan, notably Khadija Ismayilova.”

More information on Leyla Yunus: http://www.greens-efa.eu/sakharov-prize-2014-12767.html