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Suspects Detained In Beating Death Of Azerbaijan Journalist

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

Police in Azerbaijan have detained several men suspected of severely beating a journalist who later died in hospital.

Media reports in Azerbaijan quoted Baku police sources on August 10 as saying that one of the detained suspects is Elsan Ismayilov, who is a cousin of Cavid Huseynov -- a well-known player of the Qabala FK soccer club.

Journalist Rasim Aliyev, 30, died in a Baku hospital on August 9 after being beaten the previous day.

Aliyev said while in hospital that he was attacked by supporters of Huseynov in retaliation for criticism of Huseynov that Aliyev posted on his Facebook page.

The Qabala FK club said on August 10 that Huseynov had been suspended until the investigations are over.

Huseynov issued a statement on August 9 denying any involvement in the attack.

Aliyev was buried on August 9.

READ MORE: Journalist Dies After Beating


After the beating and while in the hospital on August 8, Aliyev gave an interview to Meydan TV.

He said everything started when he criticized Huseynov for his behavior after his Azerbaijani club team, Qabala FK, played the Cypriot club Apollon in Cyprus in a UEFA Europa League match on July 30.

Rasim Aliyev talked to reporters on August 8 in the hospital after his beating.

Rasim Aliyev talked to reporters on August 8 in the hospital after his beating.

Huseynov was asked by a Greek journalist after the game why he had pulled out a Turkish flag.

Huseynov reportedly replied in a derogatory way and made a rude hand gesture to the reporter, saying that Azerbaijan and Turkey were friendly countries.

Aliyev wrote on his Facebook page that he did not want "someone this amoral, impertinent, and unable to control himself to represent me on European soccer fields."

Aliyev told Meydan that after his Facebook posting he received a call from someone claiming to be Huseynov's cousin, who yelled and swore at him on the phone.

Huseynov -- who also plays for the Azerbaijani national team -- later called Aliyev and told him he meant no offense to the Greek journalist but simply wanted to highlight the close Azerbaijani-Turkish relations.

The man who said he was Huseynov's cousin then called again, apologized for his earlier phone call, and said the two should discuss the situation over tea.

Aliyev eventually agreed to meet and drove to see the man.

After getting out of his car to shake his hand, Aliyev said he was suddenly attacked from behind and knocked to the ground. He said he was then kicked and beaten by six men for about 40 seconds.

Aliyev said they took his phone and wallet and ran away in different directions.

He was then taken to the hospital where doctors said he had four broken ribs, an ear injury, but was said not to have any damage to his internal organs.

His condition worsened overnight and doctors operated to remove his spleen. They said they also found an injury to a lung.​

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