Child beaten to death in sports training; coach responsible
Sports coach kills child
On May 1, Azerbaijanis on social networks were stirred up by a video of a coach beating a seven-year-old boy to death during a sambo training session. Although the incident took place in the gymnasium of a public school, the Ministry of Science and Education of Azerbaijan placed all responsibility solely on the coach.
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The incident occurred on April 29 in the gym of secondary school No. 19 in the city of Sumgayit.
Video shows the violent behavior of coach Mehman Khalilov towards a group of young children during a training session. He is especially cruel to one of them — Farid Bakarov. He drags Farid around by his hair, lifts him up by the head, throws him to the floor and picks him up again, and when the child does not get up, kicks him.
After all this, the unconscious child was brought to the hospital. The coach called the boy’s parents and said that he had fallen and was injured. The truth came to light after the surveillance video was released.
Police initiated a criminal case under Article 126.3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan (intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm, negligently resulting in the death of the victim). The court chose a preventative measure for Khalilov in the form of arrest for four months during the investigation.
The conclusion of doctors
According to the public relations department of the Sumgayit Medical Center, the child’s condition at the time of admission to the hospital was very serious.
“The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit through the red zone of the emergency department. He was unconscious. The patient was examined by the surgeon on duty and the traumatologist on duty. During examination, large bruises were found on the upper third of both forearms, bruises of various sizes were also observed on both lower extremities, on the back area.
The hospital reported that despite the efforts of doctors, an hour later the child died. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was an unspecified head injury, an unspecified coma, cardiovascular failure, and respiratory failure.
Statement by the Ministry of Science and Education
The Ministry of Science and Education issued two statements about the tragedy, both of which make it clear that the government agency does not take responsibility for the child’s death.
Since Mehman Khalilov is also the winner of a number of prestigious national and international sports tournaments, as part of this activity, an opportunity was created for him to work as a sambo coach in the sports hall of a comprehensive school.
“Farid Bakarov is not a student of this school. Mehman Khalilov is not a teacher at this school. Khalilov brought a minor to training without registration, on his own initiative. Before this incident there were no complaints about this,” the ministry said in a statement.
Sambo Federation Statement
“Mehman Khalilov is a three-time winner of the European Championships, a bronze medalist of the II European Games. He was always chosen as the leader of the team for his exemplary behavior. He always respected the coaching staff. I would never have expected this from him. After watching the video, I could not believe that he acted so inhumanly,” Jeyhun Mammadov, President of the Azerbaijan SAMBO Federation, said.
“The incident did not occur during the training of the national team. We are not responsible for the actions of our athletes outside the national team. In this case, this issue does not involve us. As for his coaching activities, we did not give him any license. He is a graduate of the Academy of Physical Education and Sports, has the right to teach.”
According to Mammadov, Khalilov has been excluded from the national team.
What does the child’s family say?
According to Eyvaz Bakarov, Farid’s father, his second son was also in training at the time of the incident. The two brothers went to Khalilov’s training together. Moreover, Farid’s mother at that time was also in the school yard.
“There was noise in the training room, his mother heard and went inside twice. But the coach almost raised his hand to my mother. He said, Don’t raise him as a girl.’ Farid was very weak after training. Farid even peed himself,” Eyvaz Bakarov told reporters.
“I will go to the end. Don’t think that he will be released. I want him to get severe punishment. I ask the authorities and law enforcement agencies to help me with this,” he said.
Six complaints in two months
Kamalya Ashumova, executive director of the Hope for the Future Public Union of Social Initiatives, said in an interview with Turan news agency that clubs and gyms where children go in for sports are not under state control.
“Whether in the field of education or the field of sports, we have repeatedly emphasized that people working with children must pass a test and a psychological interview. Psychological interviews should not be limited to a half-hour initial conversation. The behavior of these people must be studied and diagnosed. Only after that they can be allowed to contact and communicate with children.
Now anyone can open clubs where children can play sports. Let’s see how much they know about children’s rights. Do they receive special training? No! They simply pass on their sports skills to children and youth, they are focused only on training in their sports field. There is no control over them. There is no official licensing.”
According to Ashumova, this case is not the first. She noted that over the past two months, the “children’s hotline” has received six appeals.
“We sent complaints to the authorities. But we don’t know what the results were because we are not told about it. One of the latest cases was the stabbing of a sixteeb-year-old boy in the gym by a peer,” she said.
“Most parents avoid asking questions when they bring their kids to any club. Do you have any documents on working with children, are there any rules that can somehow affect my child in the learning process? Neither government agencies nor parents control these people, so they do what they want.
Control, monitoring and supervising are very important. And education among the population is essential,” Ashumova concluded.