INVESTIGATION ON MURDER OF WRITER-JOURNALIST RAFIG TAGI REMAINS OPEN

January 14th, 2012
The first deputy of General Prosecutor Rustam Usubov has spoken with Ilgar Tagiyev, the brother of well-known writer and journalist Rafig Tagi, who was fatally stabbed in November 2011.

According to APA Information Agency, Tagiyev said, “Rustam Usubov told me that the investigation has not yielded any suspects. However, several possible scenarios are being investigated, including whether there were conflicts in his workplace. But no single scenario has been confirmed. As yet the investigation has not produced anything specific. I hope that the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice by the investigating team.”
Tagiyev spoke about plans to open a lawsuit against the Azerbaijani Prosecutor's Office with Grave Crimes Investigations Department, which is investigating Tagi’s case. “Lawyer Elchin Sadigov has appealed to Nasimi District Court on behalf of Rafig Tagi`s family. However, Rustam Usubov told me that they are investigating the case. He promised that issues raised by the lawsuit will be resolved. I trust that they will as well, and so we are planning to withdraw the lawsuit”.
The 61-year old writer-journalist was attacked by an unknown assailant on the evening of November 19 while returning home from work. A criminal case has been launched but so far no one has been held to account.
In November 2006, Rafig Tagi was arrested for his article “Europe and Us”, originally published in Sanat newspaper. In response, some Muslims accused him of using offensive language towards the prophet Muhammad and of “preferring Christian values to Islamic ones”. He was initially sentenced to 3 years in prison under Article 283.1 of the Criminal Code (Incitement of national, racial or religious hatred). He was released following a presidential pardon in December of 2007. At that time, representatives from the ruling party of Azerbaijan claimed that the journalist had been arrested to protect him from certain death at the hands of Islamic extremists.

On November 27th, the son of Iranian Ayatullah Fazil Lenkerani, Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Lenkerani, released a statement welcoming Tagi’s death.