Journalists and Media Workers Killed with Impunity

December 5th, 2016

1. Alim Kazimli, a photo reporter with Yeni Musavat newspaper, was brutally beaten at Narimanov District Police Department on 28 December 2004 when applying for an identity card. Kazimli died of a brain haemorrhage attributable to this attack on 19 June 2005. Although Abil Mammadov, the head of the passport office, was reprimanded for his failure to provide the necessary conditions to receive citizens and for his discourteous behaviour towards Kazimli, there was no investigation of the case.
2. Elmar Huseynov, the editor-in-chief of Monitor magazine, was murdered in March 2005 in a well-organised attack that appeared to be a contract-style killing. After receiving a number of death threats, he was gunned down in the stairwell of his apartment building in Baku, where he died on the scene. More than 11 years later, the perpetrators of the murder have not been found yet.
3. Novruzali Mammadov, the chief editor of Talishi Sado newspaper and head of Talish Cultural Centre, died in August 2009 while serving a 10-year jail sentence for alleged treason. Mammadov’s serious health problems were widely known. However, the authorities failed to provide him with the necessary medical care and kept him in prison, despite numerous international calls for his release on humanitarian grounds;
4. Rafig Tagi, a prominent journalist and pamphleteer, died in a Baku hospital days after being treated for the knife wounds he suffered on 19 November 2011, when he was stabbed seven times by an unknown assailant. The 61-year-old journalist appeared to be in recovery following surgery, but died four days later under suspicious circumstances. His death was initially attributed to choking; however the Ministry of Health later stated that the cause of death was peritonitis.
5. Rasim Aliyev, former IRFS Chairman and journalist, died in a Baku hospital on 9 August 2015 due to lack of adequate treatment after being brutally beaten the day before. Prior to his death, Rasim Aliyev had received threatening messages connected to a series of photos he posted online showing police brutality and social discontent – for instance, one of protesters carrying a banner calling on President Aliyev and his government to resign. Rasim Aliyev reported receiving a threatening message stating, “You will be punished for these photos”. He publicised the threat on 25 July 2015, and filed a complaint with the police, who took no action to protect him.