Today, 2 March, journalist colleagues, heads of opposition parties and representatives of the diplomatic corps and civil society visited the grave of slain “Monitor” Journal Editor-in-Chief Elmar Huseynov on the fifth anniversary of the journalist’s murder. Over 100 people participated in the event. The visitors placed flowers on his grave and prayed for him.
Elmar Huseynov Fund Co-founder Shahbaz Khuduoglu spoke and said that although 5 years have passed since Elmar Huseynov’s murder, people who ordered this murder and its executors have not been found yet. He thanked everyone that recalled Elmar Huseynov in their articles and did everything to solve his murder. Khuduoglu noted that he hopes that the journalist’s murderers will be found.
Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Chairman Ali Karimli said that this is a sad day for everyone. “Elmar Huseynov, who was murdered on this day five years ago, was a martyr for his ideals,” said Karimli. “His murder was the beginning of of a big plan launched by the administration to silence free speech. Persecution against courageous journalists in Azerbaijan has been on the rise since then and tens of journalists have gone to prison.”
“Speech is the strongest thing in the world,” said Musavat Party Chairman Isa Gambar. “Elmar Huseynov was killed for speech freedom. The Aliyev rejime assassinated him because he was able to dictate the processes with his words. We need to appreciate speech to honor Elmar Huseynov’s blood.”
Institute for Peace and Democracy Director Leyla Yunus said that there are people who disseminate false information about Elmar Huseynov and say that Elmar violated ethical rules. “We will conduct a forum to present his article to society,” added L.Yunus. “Let everyone see what he wrote and why he was murdered.”
Column Writer Khalig Bahadir stated that no work has been done to this day to report to Elmar Huseynov today. He specifically noted that opposition party leaders did not demonstrate unity. “Everyone knows that this regime is behind Elmar Huseynov’s murder. The opposition should have united to overthrow this regime so they could report to him, ‘We took vengeance for your blood,’” added K.Bahadur.
Yeni Nesil Journalist Union Chairman Arif Aliyev stated that on the night of 1 March to 2 March, 1995, Journalist Vladislav Listev was killed in Russia. “Five years later, on 2 March, Elmar Huseynov was murdered. The murderers of neither of these journalists have been found yet. Journalists should be able to assess past events in order to secure their own safety in the future,” added A.Aliyev.
Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov said that although they appealed to governmental organs several times regarding the proceedings into the criminal case and the results, every time they received typical responses.
“Today we received a response from the National Security Ministry stating that a number of operational-investigative actions have been conducted regarding the criminal case, and the international search warrant that was issued against Georgia Republic citizens Khubanov Tahir Bayram oglu and Aliyev Teymuraz Adil oglu,” said Emin Huseynov. “Although information about operational-investigative actions is given, nothing is said about who ordered this murder.”
E.Huseynov added that he has 99% faith that Azerbaijan’s government ordered Elmar Huseynov’s murder. “If I believed in this 90% five years ago, now it is up to 99%. Even the head of the government is not an exception to be behind this murder. We consider 1% as the presumption of innocence. They should prove that they are not to blame if they are innocent. Our numerous appeals to different organs and to the president to erect a monument in honor of Elmar Huseynov have not yielded any result. This shows the hatred of Azerbaijan’s administration towards Elmar Huseynov,” noted Emin Huseynov.
A criminal case was opened regarding the murder of Elmar Huseynov who was killed on 2 March, 2005. However, the executors and people behind his murder have not been found to this day.