US Commission says Azerbaijan must free prisoners of conscience


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has condemned violations of religious freedom and human rights taking place in Azerbaijan.

These violations are evident in the arrests, detentions, and harsh sentences given to human rights defenders, members of religious groups, and civil society activists, says the Commission.

USCIRF Chairman Robert P. GeorgeUSCIRF Chairman Robert P. George said: “The Azerbaijani government continues to hold prominent prisoners of conscience including RFE/RL investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova and Leyla and Arif Yunus. These courageous advocates who support religious freedom and human rights should be honored for their work rather than facing false accusations and detention and, in the case of the Yunuses, being held in pre-trail detention for over a year and denied much-needed medical care.  Sadly, their treatment is only the tip of the iceberg, as more than 100 prisoners of conscience languish in Azerbaijan’s prisons and still others stand accused

Full report here


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