Azerbaijani government to pay compensation to the wife of murdered writer Rafik Tagi
ECHR ruling on the murder of Rafik Tagi
The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed the violation of the right to life of the Azerbaijani doctor and writer Rafik Tagi. The Azerbaijani government will pay compensation to the wife of the victim. Despite the fact that about 11 years have passed since the death of Tagi, the killer has not yet been found. A religious fatwa on the writer’s murder was adopted in Iran in 2006.
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On July 7, 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on another complaint received from Azerbaijan. The court found a violation of Article 2 (the right to life) of the European Convention in its decision on the application of the wife of the late writer Rafik Tagi.
Mailya Tagiyeva vs. Azerbaijan
The plaintiff in case No. 72611/14 to the ECtHR was Mailya Bulud gizi Tagiyeva, the wife of a well-known Azerbaijani writer and publicist, as well as a cardiologist Rafik Tagi. In her statement, she stated that the circumstances of her husband’s death following the stabbing on 19 November 2011 had not been effectively investigated.
In 2006, the Iranian Ayatullah Fazil Lankarani sentenced the writer and publicist Rafik Tagi to death for the article “Europe and Us”, directed against religious dogmas. He issued a corresponding religious decision – a fatwa.
In 2006, in Azerbaijan, Rafik Tagi was sentenced to three years in prison for “inciting religious and ethnic intolerance” in the article “Europe and Us.” In 2007, the writer was pardoned and released.
On November 19, 2011, unidentified persons in Baku attacked Rafik Tagi and stabbed him. Despite all the efforts of the doctors, it was not possible to save the writer. Rafik Tagi managed to give an interview to journalists in the hospital, where he called the attack not an attempted theft (as the official version of the attack was originally announced), but an attempt to punish him for his literary works.
Two years after the murder, in 2013, the investigation into the murder of Tagi was suspended due to the impossibility of identifying the killers.
The local courts did not accept the complaint of the murdered writer’s wife against the decision to suspend the investigation. Based on this, Mailya Tagiyeva asked the ECtHR to take into account the violation of her husband’s right to life, the violation of his right to a fair trial, as well as the violation of the right to freedom of expression.
The European Court decided that in this case Article 2 (the right to life) of the European Convention was violated.
The ECtHR, in its decision, specifically indicated that the judges did not find any violations during the investigation into the act of Tagi’s murder. At the same time, the rights of Maily Tagiyeva, who was recognized as a victim in this case, were violated. The European Court decided that despite repeated requests, the investigation did not allow the victim Tagiyeva to get acquainted with the progress of the investigation. The progress of the investigation was hidden from the public.
By the decision of the ECHR, the Azerbaijani government is obliged to pay 12,000 euros [about $12,240] in moral compensation to the wife of Rafik Tagi, as well as two thousand euros [about $2,040] for legal expenses, the ECHR Bulletin reports.