INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

July 16th, 2011
July 17 marks 44th anniversary of the birthday of Elmar Huseynov, editor-in-chief of Monitor magazine, murdered on March 2, 2005. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety condemns Azerbaijani authorities for the murder that has remained unsolved for 6 years.

Specifically, claiming that the murderers were two Georgian citizens with Azerbaijani origin, Azerbaijani authorities have not been unambiguously stating up to now who was behind the murder. Azerbaijani authorities have deemed it impossible to bring the alleged murderers Teymuraz Aliyev and Tahir Khubanov into justice, citing the lack of extradition agreement between Georgia and Azerbaijan. However, the statement disseminated by the Minsitry of Internal Affairs (www.mia.gov.az) and the General Prosecutor’s Office raises questions. The statement concerns the murder of the Aflatun Piriyev, the founder of Azer-Ross Construction Company. According to the statement, the investigations revealed that Humbat Mammadov, one of the co-founders of the company, willing to seize the shares of Aflatun Piriyev, invited Russian citizen Tofig Bakirov to Baku with the view to have Piriyev killed: “They met in end-May. Mammadov agreed to pay 36,000 USD for the murders of Piriyev. In his turn, Bakirov tasked his fellow townsman Farman Hajiyev with the execution of murder. Hajiyev, in his turn, involved Sahil and Shamil Shamilov brothers in the murder. The said persons made a plan for the murder; followed Piriyev; controlled his office and his house and on July 11, entering his cabinet in the office, they killed Piriyev, as well as wounded Amiraslan Ahmadov and ran away.”


The statement goes on to sat that Fariman Hajiyev and Sahil Shamilov were detained as a result of a specific joint operation implemented by Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs and Georgia’s relevan agency within the framework of international agreements. Another 3 persons, Humbat Mammadov, Tofig Bakirov and Shamil Shamilov were detained in Baku.


The statement put onto the official website of the Interior Minsitry (
www.mia.gov.az) once again proves that Azerbaijani government is not willing to bring into justice the persons that ordered and executed the murder of Elmar Huseynov.


Given the aforementioned, IRFS does not rule out that top ranking officials of Azerbaijani authorities could be behind the murder.


IRFS once again calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to closely cooperate with the law-enforcement agencies of the neighboring and partner countries to bring into justice all persons guilty in the said murder.


IRFS once again states that if the murder remains unsolved, the responsibility for this will lie with the Azerbaijani authorities.