Tear gas used in courtroom during Rasim Aliyev trial

On February 2, the Baku Court of Grave Crimes held a hearing in the murder case of

Rasim Aliyev

, a journalist who died of a severe beating on August 9. Tear gas was used in the courtroom after a snafu caused by a decision not to indict doctors.

The hearing was chaired by judge Eldar Ismayilov. After hearing the testimonies of four witnesses, the lawyers filed a petition requesting indictments for doctors for negligence, which allegedly resulted in Aliyev’s death. The petition was rejected.

Relatives of five defendants protested the decision by tossing chairs and shouting.

Court guards used tear gas to defuse the situation.

“I want justice, I do not want anything else. Why do they teargas my face? What is that? I can still feel the smell of tear gas. We all got blinded from this tear gas. We all want justice,” a relative of one of the defendants said.

“We say that if the doctor is not guilty, he should come and testify. I am a doctor with 25 years of experience. If every person with three broken ribs and ripped lungs died, then nobody would be left alive in Azerbaijan or in the world.”

Some relatives insist that doctors should be invited at least as witnesses.

The petition was left for future consideration. The next hearing is scheduled for February 9.

On August 8, Aliyev was brutally assaulted in the Bayil neighborhood of Baku, one of the area’s central streets that is under constant security camera surveillance, for criticizing soccer player Javid Husseynov’s social media post. He was hospitalized and succumbed to his wounds on August 9.

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