Heidi Hautala, the chair of the Euronest delegation together with Sajjad Karim, the chair of the EU Azerbaijan delegation welcomed the conditional release of Leyla Yunus yesterday on 9 December 2015.
The European Parliament has long insisted on the release and rehabilitation of Yunus, who is a prominent human rights defender and a political activist Azerbaijan. Considering her precarious health conditions, her liberation is also a humanitarian act.
Parliament continues to call for all charges against Yunus to be dropped and demands full restoration of her political and civil rights and public image.
The release of Yunus, following the conditional liberation of her husband in November, is an encouraging step for future relations between the European Parliament and Azerbaijan, and may indicate the willingness of Azerbaijani parliament to resume bilateral inter-parliamentary relations and participation in the Euronest parliamentary assembly.
The European Parliament remains strongly committed to further defend human rights in Azerbaijan, as in all other Eastern partnership countries, including freedom of speech and political freedoms.