IRFS: The murder of Elmar Huseynov became the beginning of destroying the freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, which has to be prevented. 

Baku/02.03.22/Turan: The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) appeal to the authorities of Azerbaijan with demand to solve the murder of journalist Elmar Huseynov and punish both the ones that ordered and executed the shocking crime committed 17 years ago - on March 2 2005.

IRFS deem that one of the major critics of the present authorities, editor-in-chief of a popular independent publisher 'Monitor', killed with shots at door of his house, became the most symbolic victim of the independent journalism of Azerbaijan.

IRFS also deem that activity and inactivity of investigation authorities of Azerbaijan involved in investigation this murder for the past 17 years indicate that the authorities of Azerbaijan are attempting to conceal truth from local and international community, and are not interested in bringing to justice those guilty in this crime.

IRFS deem that impunity for the murder of Elmar Huseynov continuing since March 2005 resulted in a chain of other tragic killings and violent murders of journalists. Thus in June 2005 in a hospital there had deceased journalist Alim Kazimli beaten by the police. In August 2009 due to intentional nonprovision of medical help in the prison, there had died journalist Novruzali Mamedov. In November 2011 journalist Rafik Tagi was killed with knife stabs. In August 2015 journalist Rasim Aliyev became victim of organised assault. Journalist and LGBT activist Avaz Shikhmamedov (known under the nickname Avaz Khafizli) actually executed in his own apartment on February 22 2022 was the last victim of violence.

IRFS reminds the authorities of Azerbaijan that practically all of the abovementioned crimes against the journalists resulting in tragic death of the journalists are either not investigated at all or deliberately investigated inefficiently.

A vivid example of that is the investigation of murder of Elmar Huseynov, the murder which the authorities attribute to all famous alleged killers Tahir Khubanov and Teymuraz Aliyev, who arrived from Tbilisi to Baku for execution of the journalist's murder. It's noteworthy that the authorities of Azerbaijan are not even demanding Georgia to extradite those persons, nor are they putting them on the international wanted list through the Interpol line.

Taking in account that there is no statute of limitations for those grave crimes IRFS appeal to the authorities of Azerbaijan as well as law enforcement of the USA, Turkey (FBI and National Intelligence of Turkey were involved in investigation of that crime) and Georgia with request to resume the investigation of this case and help to in bringing the guilty persons to justice

IRFS appeals to the authorities of Azerbaijan with request to provide secure medium necessary for development of freedom of word, including the release from prisons of all arrested journalists and bringing the national legislation on freedom of word in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as with the standards  Council of Europe , a membership in which Azerbaijan holds for the past 20 years.—0-


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