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Baku Court Sentences Activist Couple To Tough Prison Terms

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan-leyla-arif-yunus-verdict/271872…;

A Baku court has sentenced Azerbaijani human rights activists Leyla Yunus to 8 1/2 years in jail and her severely ailing husband Arif to seven years after judging them guilty of economic crimes.
 
The verdict and jail terms handed down August 13 conclude a trial branded as a travesty of justice by the two defendants and by international human rights groups.
 
Speaking before the verdict, Leyla Yunus told the court that a jail sentence would be a death sentence for herself and her husband due to their ill health.
 
"You have issued a death sentence for us," she told the court after the prosecutor asked the judge for lengthy jail terms. "Neither mine nor Arif's health will let us stay in jail for a long time."
 
She also said that the couple was being punished for their human rights work.
 
"Azerbaijan continues on the path of Soviet fascism," she told the court."Today in Azerbaijan, anyone who tries to challenge the dictatorship is faced with repression."
 

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Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan-leyla-arif-yunus-verdict/271872…;

Baku Court Sentences Activist Couple To Tough Prison Terms

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