The Rasim Aliyev inquest: fury over autopsy result



On November 4, Professor Shakir Musayev, Director General of the Forensic Medical Examination and Pathological Anatomy Union announced the results of the autopsy of Rasim Aliyev. Rasim Aliyev was brutally assaulted relatives and friends of former Gabala FC captain Javid Huseynov on August 8. According to Shakir Musayev, the journalist and Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) chairman died from multiple injuries. Most importantly, Musayev said that the medical staff of Hospital Number One did their best to save Aliyev.


This statement raised eyebrows in Baku, as there are many elements to suggest that Aliyev did not receive proper medical care. The forensic exam confirmed Aliyev had serious injuries.  The major question is why Aliyev, who went to hospital immediately after the assault was not immediately admitted to an emergency ward. Nor was he sent for full scans, only x-rays.


The late journalist’s family and lawyer have said that they are not satisfied with Musayev’s opinion. Rasim Aliyev’s family believes that his death was caused by the hospital’s failure to provide effective treatment. Lawyer Asabali Mustafayev also considers the opinion biased, and said they had submitted a legal petition on that issue.


On November 5, the detention period of Javid Huseynov, former captain of Gabala Football Club, was extended for one month, reported his lawyer Adem Mammadov. According to the lawyer, the Baku City Prosecutor’s Office submitted a petition to Sabail District Court to extend of the detention term.


B a c k g r o u n d:


Rasim Aliyev was attacked by a group of 5-6 men, who were relatives and friends of Gabala football team captain  Javid Huseynov. The attack took place near Aliyev’s home on August 8. Aliyev was first hit in the ear, and after falling to the ground was kicked multiple times.  He died in hospital late on August 9. Baku City Prosecutor’s Office has 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 others (Jamal Mammadov, Arif Aliyev, Kanan Madatov and Samir Mustafayev) were arrested.


On August 11, Javid Huseynov was arrested and sentenced to 3-months of pre-trial detention. He was charged under articles 307.1 (failure to inform police about a serious crime, despite of being aware of its preparation or committal) and 307.2 (concealment of a serious crime). On August 6, Javid Huseynov had beenwas interviewed by journalists after the Gabala-Apollo (Cyprus) match in the third qualifying round of the Europe League. According to the media, Huseynov called on journalists who criticized him for his obscene gesture made during the first leg match, to “take a blood test”, hinting that his detractors were of Armenian origin. Huseynov then behaved disrespectfully towards a Cypriot journalist who asked him why he had raised a Turkish flag. Besides telling him in English that “Turks are my friends”, Huseynov made an obscene hand gesture, captured on camera.[1]


Sharing this news on his Facebook page, Rasim Aliyev posted: “I don’t want such an immoral and ill-mannered footballer, who cannot control himself, to represent me in European stadiums.” Following this, Rasim received an abusive phone call. Shortly thereafter, Javid Huseynov called Rasim Aliyev and said that his gesture had been misunderstood; he had intended to show a sign of friendship. Rasim Aliyev posted on his Facebook page that he had talked to Javid Huseynov, who had asked him to inform the public that his gesture had been misunderstood. Less than three minutes after this conversation, the original caller phoned back to say, “You talked with Javid and resolved the issue, now let’s meet for tea and we will apologize to you.” Although Rasim initially declined, the man insisted and persuaded Rasim to meet near his house. However, as soon as Rasim got to the agreed location, the assault began.  It was fully recorded by a public CCTV camera.


Rasim Aliyev received threats on the Odnoklassniki social network on July 25, 2015. Another user sent him videos and photos – taken by Rasim while working for Obyektiv TV – and warned him that he would answer for what he had filmed and that he had betrayed his country. On July 26, Rasim Aliyev filed a complaint with Sabail District Police Office #8 stating that he had been threatened. The police did not take any action.  



Journalist Rasim Aliyev was a member of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety from its establishment in 2006. After IRFS Founding Chairman Emin Huseynov was forced into hiding to avoid arbitrary criminal prosecution last August, Rasim Aliyev was elected chairman in the autumn of 2014. The Ministry of Justice was officially informed about the change of IRFS chairman. Although Aliyev was not actually working for IRFS – which had been forced to close following a police raid and the suspension of bank accounts – he remained the chairman of IRFS until his death.





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