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Headteacher and local official accused of beating up pupil in Lankaran

19 July 2022
Photos of injuries allegedly sustained by the girl were posted online by children’s rights activist Kamala Aghazade.

A criminal investigation has been launched in the southern Azerbaijani city of Lankaran after a school headteacher and local official were accused of beating up a ninth-grade pupil.

On Monday, the Lankaran District Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the deputy head of the Executive Power of Lankaran District, Rasila Arifgizi (Aliyeva), and the headteacher of the Lankaran School Number 4, Yegane Asgarova.

They are being investigated for exceeding official powers, and would face up to three years in prison if convicted.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Arifgizi brought the schoolgirl to her home under the pretext of receiving a certificate. There, Arifgizi and Askerova allegedly took the girl’s phone and sent ‘private information’ from it to her relatives.

Prosecutors said that a forensic medical examination had found injuries on the girl’s body.

Both women have been fired from their jobs.

The allegations first came to light on 15 July, after Kamala Aghazade, the chair of the Azerbaijani children’s rights group, Azerbaijan Children, posted about it on Facebook. She said the girl claimed she was beaten up by the two women.

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She said the attack may have been motivated by a personal conflict between Arifgizi’s daughter and the girl.