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The ECHR Satisfied the Claim of Leyla and Arif Yunus against Azerbaijan

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today announced the judgment concerning the human rights defenders and civil society activists of Yunusova and Yunusov vs. Azerbaijan, the Registrar of the Court reports in an issued press release.  

According to Chamber’s judgment, there had been a violation of Article 34 (right of individual petition) of the European Convention on Human Rights and a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention.

The case concerned the allegation by Mr Yunusov and Ms Yunusova, husband and wife that, their medical care in detention had been inadequate.

To remind, On 13 August 2015, Baku Court of Grave Crimes brought in a verdict against the Azerbaijani human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunusov, sentencing them to 8.5 years and 7 years’ imprisonment respectively finding guilty of swindle, tax evasion and abuses.

In today’s decision the Court found that, despite monthly information reports having been provided about the couple’s health and medical examinations following the issuing of that interim measure, the Azerbaijani Government had failed to submit medical evidence – such as medical prescriptions or doctors’ recommendations – to back up their claim that the couple’s health had been stable and had not required a transfer to a medical facility.

The ECHR also ruled that the Government of Azerbaijan does not respect its obligations under Article 34 (individual applications) of the European Convention.

Moreover, drawing inferences from the Government’s failure to provide full information on the medical treatment provided to the couple, the Court concluded that they had not been provided with adequate medical treatment in detention. As a result of that inadequate medical treatment, the couple had been exposed to prolonged mental and physical suffering, amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Court held that Azerbaijan was to pay 13,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage to each applicant and EUR 4,000, for costs and expenses to both applicants, jointly.

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