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Azerbaijani mother of three murdered in crisis shelter

16 March 2022
The Umid Yeri shelter in Baku.

A 27-year-old woman in Azerbaijan has been murdered in a shelter for victims of domestic violence, allegedly by her husband.

Ulviya Hasanova, born in 1995, was stabbed to death at around noon on Sunday in the Khazar District of Baku.

Hasanova and her three young children were admitted to the Umid Yeri (‘place of hope’) shelter not long before the murder.

Hasanova’s husband, Samaddin Hasanov, born in 1987, has been arrested and an investigation launched for premeditated murder.

‘Preliminary investigations have established suspicions that the victim’s husband […]  deliberately killed Ulviya Hasanova by inflicting multiple stab wounds during a conflict between them that arose out of jealousy’, a spokesperson for the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

The Office of the Human Rights Commissioner of Azerbaijan has also launched an investigation into the incident. In a statement, they said they had contacted the shelter for further details and to discuss ‘the protection of the rights of persons placed in the shelter’. 

‘Furthermore, the psychological condition of the three children of the deceased was established and it was clarified whether this event somehow affected other residents of the shelter’, the statement said.

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Narmin Shahmarzadeh, a human rights activist and psychologist, told OC Media that the lack of information about the staff working in shelters raised questions over whether they were properly qualified. She also noted the lack of police protection for shelters in Azerbaijan.

‘Despite repeated appeals and complaints from human rights activists and feminist activists, the government still does not take into account the lack of shelters, their dilapidated condition, and the fact that they are dangerous’, Shahmarzadeh said.

‘As long as this continues, the murders of women will continue, and the murders of women prove once again that this is political.’