The Turkish Prosecutor General's Office has published the results of the forensic medical examination into the death of activist Bayram Mammadov. According to the examination, Mammadov died by drowning — the investigation into his death has officially been closed.
Mammadov went missing in Istanbul on 2 May. Two days later, Turkish police informed his friends — who had reported his disappearance — that he had drowned.
The 27-year-old Azerbaijani citizen was a prominent critic of the Azerbaijani government and served three years in prison on drug charges that rights groups say were fabricated.
In 2016 year, he was arrested together with fellow activist Giyas Ibrahim, after defacing a statue of former president Heydar Aliyev with the words ‘Happy Slave Day’ a day before the birthday of the late president.
Both Mammadov and Ibrahimov were sentenced to 10 years in prison, and were released in a 2019 presidential pardon.
‘We have submitted the autopsy documents submitted by the Prosecutor's Office and the Medical Expertise to other independent doctors’, Mammadov's lawyer Oghuzkhan Topalkaya told OC Media.
‘They will examine the submitted documents and if there are any discrepancies or suspicions, we will re-apply with a protest’, he said.
If there is nothing ‘suspicious’ in the documents, Topalkaya added, Mammadov’s legal team will ‘agree with the decision’.
After Bayram Mammadov's death, human rights activists and friends of Mammadov expressed doubts about the circumstances around his death.
Some have speculated that it may have been related to his activism against the Azerbaijani Government — with many calling for further information about the circumstances surrounding his death to be made clear with the hashtag #BayramaNeOldu (what happened to Bayram).