Five Men Jailed For Beating Journalist To Death


BEVERLY HILLS, April 01, (THEWILL) – Five men in Azerbaijan have been sentenced to up to 13 years in prison for beating to death a journalist who had criticised an Azeri football team player on Facebook.

Judge Eldar Ismayilov, presiding in a crime court in the capital, Baku, on Friday, found the men “guilty of inflicting serious bodily harm that caused the death” of journalist Rasim Aliyev and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from nine to 13 years.

Aliyev, a 30-year-old photo and video journalist for a number of online publications, died in hospital in August last year after being beaten by a group of men who had contacted him over his Facebook post about a heated football match between teams from Cyprus and Azerbaijan.

He criticised the behaviour of the Azeri team Gabala's striker Javid Huseynov who waved a Turkish flag after the match with Cypriot team Apollon Limassol and allegedly made an offensive gesture at a journalist.

Aliyev wrote that Huseynov “did not know how to behave” and should not play in matches in Europe and told the Turan agency before his death that he had received insulting comments about the post.

He revealed that he was contacted through telephone by a man claiming to be a cousin of the player. After initially abusing him, the man phoned him back in a conciliatory tone and invited him to drink tea.

“I came out alone. There were five or six of them and they immediately threw themselves at me and started beating me up,” Aliyev told the agency.

He later died in intensive care after his condition worsened and he underwent an emergency operation.

Story by David Oputah