Father of a Soldier (Əsgər Atası) (Bayali Azizov’s story)

I am Bayali Azizov, father of the martyr. My younger son Elkhan Azizov served in military unit #N. He was called up for military service in January, 2009. Because of his excellent military service he was honored with sergeant range. His military service was exemplary. All his soldier friends, commanders can confirm this.

In January 2010, information was spread that two soldiers shot dead four officers, wounded two and then those soldiers killed each others. My son’s name was highlighted as one of those two soldiers. At the beginning I was in shock. I could not realize how comes that the soldier who was exemplary for 13 months can act like that. But eventually it became clear that the case was not as Military Prosecutor office or Ministry of Defence declared. This incident took place in a completely different way. As I got information from different sources, there was conflict between officers, then in order to cover up this case, they decided to annihilate those two soldiers.

I wrote about it a lot. I repeatedly expressed my remarks to investigations. I addressed to all ministries and governmental bodies during these years. To whomever I applied they gathered all my documents and forwarded them to Military Prosecutor Office — to Khanlar Veliyev, military prosecutor. And they are sending me the same answers as they did before.

During the investigations they tempted us. They arrested 5 officers in order to persuade. But then we clarified that those officers ,killers were not arrested because of that incident. They were arrested because of bribery, machination and misbehavior with soldiers. Actually they did not have any relations with that crime. But for persuasion they told that 5 officers were arrested.

This killings took place among the officers. I have information that the reason of this incident was corruption with big amount. I think the incident is the fault of former corps commander Chingiz Shafiyev and minister of defence Safar Abiyev. It is impossible that Abiyev was unaware about this case.

All people are silenced in different ways. Chingiz Shafiyev personally participated in process of investigation. To be exact, he leaded this process, determined the way of investigation. There are witnesses about that.

I am a head of my family and I know that what is doing my family. At the same time the army has its own head. He has to know what process take places in his army. Therefore I think that leadership should be blamed for this lawlessness, corruption, deaths of soldiers under mysterious circumstances.

I wrote to leadership of the country many times. May be these letters never reach him. May be those letters are torn on the way… All letters are directed to Military Prosecutor Office. It is clear that Military Prosecutor is not interested to investigate this letters.

If one soldier’s parent problem was taken into the consideration, if any official was punished because of soldier death, I think the soldier’s death would not be so high.
We established the Public Union of “Ceasefire Victims” in 2012, February. Our aim was to decrease the number of soldier deaths in army, to take the initiative to prevent deaths in Armed Forces. For registration we applied to the Ministry of Justice many times however they sent back our documents four times. It is not favourable for them that we establish such a union.

We have meetings with soldier’s parents, sometimes gathering. We share our problems. We participate in protests of opposition.

When my son died, his body was wrapped in a flag and he was buried solemnly. If my son was criminal why did they wrap him in a flag? Or other soldiers…

I will continue my fight in this direction until death. It was yesterday, it is today and it will be tomorrow. I hope someday this struggle must bear fruits….

Acording to the “Doctrine” Journalists’ Military Research Center during 2003-2013 years, more that 700 soldiers of Azerbaijan Army died. 75 percent of them are non-combat deaths.
During 2013, youths organizations, NGOs organized protests against soldier deaths in army. As a result Minister of Defense Safar Abiyev after 19 year his power, has been resigned.

By Jasur Mammadov