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Abdulrachmann Fatalibey

Chief Editor, RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service

On November 20, 1954, Abdulrachmann (Abo) Fatalibey was beaten and strangled to death in a Munich apartment. He was 46.

Fatalibey worked as chief editor for RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service. After he failed to show up for work, colleagues found his own apartment empty and reported him missing. His body was later found in Munich.

After the exhumation of a body, the police confirmed that Fatalibey had been mistakenly identified and buried as Michael Ismailov, a USSR native he had been seen with on the night of his disappearance. The coroner’s report stated that the deceased had died of strangulation after having been struck in the head with a hammer. Ismailov became the prime suspect in the murder.

Fatalibey, 46, a veteran of WWII who had been tried in absentia and sentenced to death by the Soviet government in 1944, also wrote for the political magazine Azerbaijan.

He had a wife and son in the USSR at the time of his death.