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Azerbaijani opposition member allegedly murdered by colleague 

16 May 2024
Natig Mehdi. Photo via social media

A member of Azerbaijan’s Musavat opposition party has been killed in Baku, with a coworker accused of his murder.

Natig Mehdi was reported missing by his nephew on 9 May, and information regarding his death was made public by the Interior Ministry and Prosecutor’s Office on 14 May. Mehdi was buried two days later. 

According to the Prosecutor General’s statement, a colleague of Mehdi’s, Elsevar Islamov, is accused of his murder. The Musavat party member worked as a security guard at a school in Baku, while Islamov served as the school’s deputy financial director. 

Mustafa Hajibeyli, a spokesperson for the Musavat party, told OC Media that it was possible that Islamov was a member of the ruling party, and that their political positions had triggered the conflict. 

‘It is hard for opposition party members to find work, which is why a person who had studied abroad was working as a security guard at a school’, said Hajiybeyli. ‘It’s discrimination, but he has no choice if he wants to make a living. This is not the first time our party members have faced such situations.’

Hajibeyli added that more information was required regarding the motives for the murder. 

‘The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor's Office said that the murder occurred due to a dispute. It is unknown what the dispute was about. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies, which are not afraid to disclose investigative secrets, in this case, limit themselves to referring to a “dispute”.’

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The Prosecutor’s Office statement mentioned that the perpetrator was being tried on charges of premeditated murder with special cruelty.

Musavat party lawyer Nemat Karimli told OC Media that details of the murder had not been made public, as the investigation was underway, and that he was unaware of the factors that had contributed to its classification involving ‘special cruelty’. 

‘We do not currently have much information regarding the circumstances of his death and how he was killed’, said Karimli. 

Musavat chairperson Isa Gambar on Wednesday shared a statement regarding Mehdi’s murder. 

‘As the Musavat Party, we declare that we are outraged by the murder of Natig Mehdi and expect that the killer (or killers) will be identified and brought to justice by law enforcement agencies as soon as possible’, wrote Gambar. 

Read in Armenian on CivilNet.
Read in Georgian on On.ge.