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European Human Rights Court passes ruling on the murder of Azerbaijani journalist

The investigation carried out by the authorities was “inadequate”

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) announced on 13 April that they have made a ruling on the case of Rushanya Huseynova v. Azerbaijan. The decision was made that the Azerbaijani government had not conducted a thorough enough investigation into the criminal case of the murder of the editor-in-chief of Monitor magazine, Elmar Huseynov, and had not made the necessary steps to prosecute the journalist’s murderers.

The court ruled that the government had violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (failure to conduct an effective investigation).

The court ordered the Azerbaijani government to pay compensation in the amount of EUR 20,000 for moral damage to the wife of the deceased, Rushanya Huseynova, as well as  EUR 10,000 towards judicial and juridical expenses.

The ECHR press release report.

Part of the decision that referred to the complaint of Rushanya Huseynova stated that Elmar Huseynov was constantly subjected to threats and pressure from the authorities due to his controversial articles, and was brought to justice 34 times. In January 2004, police officers demanded that he stop printing such articles about the president and his family, threatening him with reprisals in the case of non-compliance.

  • Elmar Huseynov was murdered on 2 March 2005 at the entrance to his apartment with seven shots from a pistol. The President of Azerbaijan called this murder “a big stain on the reputation of the country and a blow to the democratic development of Azerbaijan.”
  • Mrs. Huseynova repeatedly appealed to the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan with a request to report the results of the investigation, but each time she was denied access to any information.
  • After the murder of her husband, Huseynova continued publishing the magazine on her own (under a different name, according to Elmar’s will) for some time. She was also subjected to pressure, and emigrated a year later with her young son to Norway.
  • The archive of the Monitor magazine is available here.
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