The son of the Iranian ayatollah who issued the 2006 fatwah calling for the assassination of Azeri author Rafiq Tagi has issued a statement on his web site praising Tagi’s murderers.
Sheikh Mohammed Fazel Lankarani, a prominent ayatollah like his late father, has written on his site that “Without a doubt, the man who performed the sentence and pleased the Muslims, will receive a great gift from the Almighty.”
The full text (in Persian) is here. A translation is not available in the English language section of Lankarani’s site, although this English version from the Turan News Agency(available on Azerireport.com) seems to be accurate.
After Tagi’s controversial “Europe and Us” article was published in late 2006, Lankarani’s father, Grand Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani, issued a fatwah on his web site saying that “it is necessary for every individual who has an access to [Tagi] to kill him. The person in charge of the […] newspaper, who published such thoughts and beliefs consciously and knowingly, should be dealt with in the same manner.”
Another cleric from the Iranian city of Tabriz reportedly offered his house as a reward for anyone who killed Tagi and his editor Samir Sadagatoglu, who has told the press in recent days that he fears for his life.
Today (29 November), the US Embassy in Baku issued a statement on Tagi’s murder, referring to it a “heinous crime” and calling on the Azerbaijani government to “devote all necessary resources to bring the perpetrators” to justice.
The statement was curiously late, in my view, coming six days after Tagi’s murder and four days following a much stronger statement from the French Foreign Ministry.
Meanwhile, Tagi’s family have asked the government to provide protection, according to a report from Contact.az.