Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and IFRC mourn death of volunteer

Geneva/Budapest/Baku, 29 October 2020 - The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have today condemned the death of a Red Crescent volunteer who was providing humanitarian assistance in the town of Barda, Azerbaijan.

Maharram Anvar Oglu Mustafayev, a 49-year-old father of two, died yesterday afternoon while providing humanitarian aid in Barda city centre. Mr Mustafayev has been an Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society volunteer for six years and was a dedicated and respected member of the Barda local branch. He was killed when his car was hit by a rocket.

Two female Red Crescent volunteers, Hajiyeva Ulviya and Babishova Fatma, were also injured while identifying the needs of people living in a temporary shelter at the Barda school No. 6, 500 metres from the scene. They have been discharged from hospital and are back on duty. The Red Crescent volunteers are among many civilians killed and injured yesterday.

President of Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society Dr Novruz Aslanov said he appreciated the messages of condolence and support received from throughout the world and from the Red Cross Red Crescent family.

“Unfortunately, staff and volunteers of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society have made the ultimate sacrifice at the cost of their lives and their health. Like Maharram, all the volunteers of the Red Crescent Society are providing vital humanitarian assistance at the front line and beyond. We will continue our mandate to provide assistance to the many who so desperately need it,” Dr Aslanov said.

“On behalf of the members and volunteers of our National Society, we send our condolences to Maharram’s family. May he rest in peace.”

President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca said deaths and injuries among innocent civilians is completely unacceptable.

“All sides have obligations under International Humanitarian Law, including taking measures to protect and spare civilians and civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and markets,” Mr Rocca said.

“Civilians, including humanitarians, must be spared. We are shocked and appalled at the death of Mr Mustafayev and the injury of two of his colleagues. Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences are with his family and with Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society.”