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Azerbaijani Taxi Driver Dead After Self-Immolation

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

SUMQAYIT, Azerbaijan -- A taxi driver in Azerbaijan's western city of Sumqayit has died after setting himself on fire to protest alleged "misconduct" by local traffic police.

It was at least the seventh self-immolation protest in Azerbaijan since the beginning of 2014.

The Sumqayit city prosecutor's office and police department issued a joint statement saying that Maqsad Suleymanov, 27, was rushed to a hospital in the capital, Baku, on September 20, where he died several hours later.

According to the statement, the reasons for the apparent suicide are unknown.

But eyewitnesses said on social networks that Suleymanov poured gasoline on himself and lit the fire, saying he was protesting against misconduct by traffic police.

The string of acts of self-immolation in Azerbaijan, many of them resulting in death, followed the death of a Nagorno-Karabakh war veteran who set himself on fire in December 2013 to protest the severe poverty many veterans live in.

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