BAKU -- Reports from the Naxcivan Autonomous Republic say a 31-year-old airport technician from the landlocked Azerbaijani exclave has been found dead at the Ministry for National Security after being accused of "working for Iran."
Family members of Turac Zeynalov, a resident of Arazun village in the exclave's Julfa district, say they were shown his body on August 25, a day after he had been summoned to the ministry.
The family said Zeynalov also showed signs of being beaten to death, including bruises and blood stains across his body and a disfigured head.
Zeynalov's father, Shuriyye Zeynalov, said he was told by authorities that his son had committed treason because he had "worked for Iran."
The father claimed his son was beaten to death because he had refused to sign a confession. The family said they were not given any medical documentation about the cause of his death.
The local Turan news agency reported that there was no immediate information available about four other men who were also reportedly summoned to the ministry recently.
Elman Abbasov, a correspondent working at the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service on August 29 that he met with Zeynalov's family and was concerned about the fate of the man's parents.
"Summoning somebody to the National Security Ministry on a groundless claim and beating him to death does not conform to legal norms, laws, and humanity," Abbasov said. "Even if a man is guilty, he should be punished according to the law."
Abbasov maintained that he is also concerned about the fate of Turac Zeynalov's parents.
"Turac's wife told us their home was also searched. But nothing was found there," he said, adding that authorities had admitted they had "slapped Turac once or twice in order to educate him."
Eldar Ibrahimov, a member of parliament from Naxcivan told RFE/RL that did not have any information about Zeynalov's death. Ibrahimov dismissed the reported beating death, saying it "could be an unfounded rumor."
Bordered by Iran to the west and Armenia to the east, the Autonomous Republic of Naxcivan retains its autonomy and has been internationally recognized as a constituent part of Azerbaijan.