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Slain general’s mother accuses Azerbaijani military officials of ordering his death

4 January 2022
Samaya Hashimova. Video still.

Samaya Hashimova, the mother of Polad Hashimov, an Azerbaijani general killed during clashes in July 2020, has called for an investigation into her son’s death.

‘Karim Valiyev had my son killed so that he would get the position’,  Samaya Hashimova told journalists on 1 January. Valiyev is the current Chief of the General Staff of Azerbaijan’s armed forces.

Hashimova also placed blame on Azerbaijan’s Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov. 

She did not prove concrete evidence for the allegations.

Major General Polad Hashimov was killed during clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in July, 2020. At the time, Hashimov was the highest-ranking military official to be killed in fighting between the two countries since the end of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994.

Hashimova said she was suspicious of her son's death in fighting in July and needed to be investigated further.

She also claimed that her son had submitted his resignation from the armed forces following clashes on the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016. According to her, his resignation was denied. She did not clarify why her son allegedly sought to leave the military. 

She also said that on 11 July 2020, one day before the border clashes broke out, Polad had called her and told her that he was to be appointed to a ‘senior position’ within the Defence Ministry in the coming days. 

On 14 July, Azerbaijani authorities announced that Hashimov was killed in action alongside Colonel Ilgar Mirzayev. Azerbaijan lost a total of twelve officers during the fighting.

The clashes sparked spontaneous pro-war rallies throughout Azerbaijan. In Baku, where tens of thousands had gathered, a group of protesters broke into the parliament. 

[Read more: Thousands of pro-war protesters rally in Azerbaijan]

Anar Mammadli, chair of the Center for Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies, an independent Azerbaijan-based democracy watchdog, wrote on Facebook that while Samaya Hashimova may have ‘misanalysed’ what happened to her son, the circumstances around Hashimov’s death must still be investigated as well as the reason for his alleged resignation in 2016. 

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