Public investigation group established to investigate murder of journalist Rasim Aliyev

On December 18, a public investigation group was set up to investigate the murder of the former IRFS chairman, journalist Rasim Aliyev, reported the late journalist’s fiancée Gular Abbasova. The group consists of lawyer Alasgar Mammadli, Samira Agayeva, journalist Avaz Zeynalli, Naila Bagirova, Elmidar Aliyev, Samir Kazimli, Mehman Aliyev and human rights defenders Novella Jafaroglu and Seadet Beneyarli. 


According to Gular Abbasova, the group has already held its inaugural meeting, which discussed the situation after the completion of the criminal investigation. 

The group plans to investigate the reasons for the journalist’s death and the activity of various agencies in this regard.


After reviewing the case materials, lawyer Asabali Mustafayev said that they had examined the security camera footage of the journalist’s assault, and obtained copies of certain documents.

The lawyer said they would file motions with regard to a number of problems identified with the investigation.


“One thing that surprised us was that among the case materials, we saw a letter from the Health Minister, Ogtay Shiraliyev, stating that all necessary medical care had been provided to Rasim Aliyev in hospital, i.e. the doctors bore no responsibility for his death,” said Mustafayev.

The journalist’s mother Teyfure Aliyeva said that after seeing this document in the case file, she was once again convinced that the doctors had betrayed them.


“There is an X-ray image in the case file showing that Rasim had a hemorrhage in his liver, but the doctors told us that his liver was clean. Thus in addition to failing to provide the necessary medical care, they also lied to us. Another point that concerns us is the flimsy criminal charges that have been brought against Javid Huseynov,” added the journalist’s mother.


Background:  On July 25, 2015, Rasim Aliyev received threatening messages on the social networking website Odnoklassniki. He was shown footage and images that he had shot while working for IRFS and told that he would have to answer for them. On July 26, 2015, Rasim Aliyev appealed to Sabail District Police Office #8, informing them of the death threats. However, police failed to take action.  On August 8, 2015, Rasim Aliyev was brutally assaulted by a group of 5-6 men, who took his phone and wallet. Rasim Aliyev drove to the emergency room in his car, from where he was taken to City Clinic #1.  Rasim Aliyev was admitted to hospital at about 16.45 on August 8. Following a medical examination, doctors told him that he had four broken ribs. He received intravenous pain medication and was placed in a ward. The medical staff failed to change his clothes in the ward. At about 1 o’clock at night, Rasim’s family was informed that he had to undergo survey. When his family arrived at the hospital twenty minutes later, the doctor told them that the operation was over and that Rasim was in intensive care. Shortly afterwards, they were told that Rasim had passed away. His body was sent to the Republican Hospital for expert examination. 


Baku City Prosecutor’s Office launched a criminal case under Article 126.3 of the Criminal Code (deliberate causing of serious harm to health, resulting in the death of the victim). Javid Huseynov’s cousin Elshan Ismayilov and four other men by names Jamal Mammadov, Arif Aliyev, Kanan Madatov and Samir Mustafayev were arrested. Javid Huseynov himself was detained for 3 months under articles 307.1 (failure to inform about a serious crime, despite of being aware of its preparation or committal) and 307.2 (concealment of a serious crime without a prior promise).

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