CCTV footage depicting the last whereabouts of Azerbaijani activist Bayram Mammadov has been released to lawyers representing the family by the Turkish Prosecutor’s Office.
The 27-year-old pro-democracy activist went missing in Istanbul on 2 May and on 4 May Turkish police informed friends that he had drowned. The release of the footage has been a key demand by many of those who have raised questions over the circumstances surrounding his death.
According to lawyers representing Mammadov’s family, police officers showed them footage from along the route from the house he had been living to the scene of his death.
‘According to the footage obtained so far, Bayram Mammadov was identified by the police in several camera recordings before leaving the house to the scene of the incident’, one of the family’s lawyers, Cighdem Akbulut, told OC Media.
‘The last time he was seen was at the entrance to the Moda II seaside park [where his body was reportedly found]. There are no images of him inside the park yet. The police department continues to work to obtain other images of the area inside the park’, she said.
‘We hope some other footage from security cameras will be found by police to be sure that he was alone until the incident happened.’
Akbulut said their legal team were also waiting for the Prosecutor’s Office to publish the results of the autopsy.
After Bayram Mammadov's death, several human rights activists and friends of Mammadov expressed doubts about the circumstances around his death.
Turkish and Azerbaijani activists have launched a campaign on social media with the hashtag #Bayramaneoldu which translates as ‘what happened to Bayram?’, demanding a thorough investigation.
Some have speculated that it may have been related to his activism against the Azerbaijani Government.
On 10 May 2016, Bayram Mammadov and fellow activist Giyas Ibrahim were sentenced to 10 years in prison for spray-painting ‘Happy Slave Day’ on a statue of former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev. Both were subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison on drug charges that rights groups have insited were fabricated.
Mammadov and Ibrahimov were both released in the 2019 presidential amnesty in Azerbaijan.