Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 10
The Azerbaijani President's Aide for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov has said President Ilham Aliyev is deeply concerned about the beating of Rasim Aliyev, an employee of Ann.az website, who died of his injuries.
"The President of Azerbaijan rates this incident as a threat to the freedom of speech and information, free activity of the mass media in the country. The head of state noted that ensuring the freedom of the mass media, which is an integral part of democratic principles, is the high goal and one of the key priorities of the Azerbaijani government. Violation of this principle is absolutely contrary to the interests of the government and the essence of its policy, and is unacceptable," said Hasanov.
"As soon as President Ilham Aliyev got the news of the incident the head of state instructed the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan to fully investigate the incident in a short space of time, find the criminals and bring them to justice, and also regularly update the President and the public about the causes of the incident and the course of the investigation. The President of Azerbaijan underlined that he will personally supervise the investigation and that the criminals will face the full force of the law," Hasanov further said.
"Mr President said that necessary measures will be continued under his personal supervision to ensure fundamental human rights and principles, including the freedom of speech and information, independence of the mass media, particularly security of journalist activity in Azerbaijan," the presidential aide added.
Rasim Aliyev, an employee of the Ann.az website, was beaten by unknown persons on August 8 suffering multiple injuries. He died at a clinical medical center August 9.
A criminal case was launched into the incident, and an investigation is underway.