Leyla Yunus, "I Have Lost Sight In My Left Eye After The Last Beating"
Azerbaijan -- Leyla Yunus, Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, and Arif Yunus, political scientist, combo, undated
She looked pale and smaller. Standing behind the glass cage, was not the 59 year old rights activist Leyla Yunus people remembered. She has lost significant amount of weight too. It was also the first time, the couple have seen each other in almost a year. The two were arrested one week apart and held in separate facilities.
Today was the preliminary hearing in the case of Leyla and Arif Yunus.
The prosecutor dismissed all the motions raised by the attorneys. During the break, Leyla Yunus spoke to the journalists. She said both of them are subject to physical torture and intimidation. Mrs. Yunus added her husband might have cancer. However he has been refused any medical check up and so impossible to confirm. Mrs. Yunus herself said she lost vision in her left eye. "The last time I was beaten on June 20. This when I stopped seeing in my left eye completely" added Leyla Yunus.
Following the break, the prosecutors refused to grant Leyla Yunus her right to speak and defend herself as they read out the charges.
The next hearing is scheduled for July 27.
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