Azerbaijan Free Speech Activist Flown Out by Swiss FM

June 13, 2015 Updated: April 3, 2016

BERLIN—A free speech activist from Azerbaijan who spent 10 months in the Swiss embassy has left the country aboard the jet of Switzerland’s foreign minister.

Emin Huseynov landed in Switzerland late Friday with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, who had attended the opening ceremony of the European Games in Baku.

Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Marc Crevoisier said Saturday that Huseynov was given refuge at the Swiss embassy in August amid fears for his safety.

Crevoisier told The Associated Press that the activist was allowed to leave following “numerous conversations” between Burkhalter and Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Huseynov feared being arrested because of Azerbaijan’s crackdown on journalists and human rights defenders.

Huseynov has three months to apply for asylum.