OSCE Representative welcomes convictions for murder of journalist in Azerbaijan

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovi? today welcomed the sentences of five people for the killing of journalist Rasim Aliyev in August 2015 in Baku.

According to reports, on 1 April a Baku court sentenced Elshan Ismayilov, Jamal Mamedov, Arif Aliyev, Kenan Madatov and Samir Mustafayev from 9 to 13 years in prison. Mijatovi? noted that another person charged in the incident, Javid Huseynov, is still on trial.

Aliyev, a freelance reporter and chairman of the media monitoring group of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety in Azerbaijan, was brutally beaten by a group of people in Baku on 8 August 2015 and later died in the hospital (see http://www.osce.org/fom/176611).

Mijatovi? also positively assessed the recent release of several journalists, bloggers and freedom of expression advocates who were pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev on 17 March.

At the same time, she encouraged the authorities to release other members of the media, among them journalists Khadija Ismayilova, a reporter for Radio Azadliq, and Seymur Hazi, a columnist for the newspaper Azadliq.

Mijatovi? has raised the issue of intimidation and imprisonment of journalists and members of the media in Azerbaijan numerous times in recent years.

“As usual, my Office stands ready to assist Azerbaijan to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists and continues to seek a constructive dialogue with the authorities,” Mijatovi? said.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at

Source: OSCE