Writer-journalist Rafig Tagi was stabbed near his home as he was returning home from work on the evening of November 19th.
His brother Alim Tagi told IRFS that Rafig recived 6 knife injuries, but after the attacker fled, he was able to get home and call an ambulance. He was then taken to Baku City Clinic Medical Center #1 where he underwent a surgery that lasted from 10 pm to 6 am the following morning.
One of the surgeons involved in Mr. Tagi’s treatment, Abbas Abbasov, described the surgery as “intense” but told journalists that the journalist’s life is no longer in danger. However, Abbasov cautioned that Mr. Tagi’s condition is still serious because of the amount of blood he lost while getting home and calling for help after the attack.
Abbasov also told Radio Liberty that the injuries sustained by the writer were very serious. In addition to losing a liter and a half of blood, Rafig Tagi suffered two broken ribs, a damaged stomach and diaphragm, and doctors had to remove his spleen. “It will be possible to assess the situation more accurately after Mr. Tagi is no longer reliant on the ventilator,” Abbasov noted.
Police from the Nasimi District office visited the hospital, investigated the scene of the crime, and took preliminary testimony from Rafig Tagi’s family.
Rafig Tagi, who by profession, is a physician at Urgent Medical Aid Station #8, is also a well-known writer-journalists whose publicized articles have often proved controversial. Before the attack Mr. Tagi had been writing for www.kulis.az, where his last article, published on November 11th, 2011 was titled “Iran and the Inevitability of Globalization” and subjects the Iranian government, and especially the supreme religious leader, to serious criticism.
Rafig Tagi has a history of articles which put him in harms way. He was arrested in 2007 for an article, “Europe and Us” published on Sanat newspaper where he was accused of using inappropriate words towards Prophet Mohammad, and preferring Christian values to Islamic ones. Grand Ayatollah Fazil Lankarani of Iran even delivered a fatwa calling for his death in response to that article.
Charged with inciting national and religious hatred, Rafig Tagi and the newspaper’s editor, Samir Sadagatoglu, received 3 and 4 years in jail respectively. However, they were pardoned 8 months later by a presidential decree.