Ramil Safarov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ramil Safarov
Ramil Safarov.png
Safarov in Baku on August 31, 2012 just after his arrival
Born Ramil Sahib oğlu Səfərov
(1977-08-25) August 25, 1977 (age 36)
Jabrayil, Azerbaijani SSR, Soviet Union
Residence Baku, Azerbaijan
Occupation Major in Azerbaijani Army
Religion Shia Islam
Criminal charge
Murder
Criminal penalty
Life imprisonment
Criminal status
Extradited to Azerbaijan, pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev

Ramil Sahib oglu Safarov (Azerbaijani: Ramil Sahib oğlu Səfərov; born August 25, 1977) is an officer of the Azerbaijani Army who was convicted of the 2004 murder of Armenian Army Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan. During a NATO-sponsored training seminar in Budapest, Safarov broke into Margaryan's dormitory room at night and axed him to death.

In 2006, Safarov was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary with a minimum incarceration period of 30 years. After his request under the Strasbourg Convention, he was extradited on August 31, 2012 to Azerbaijan, where he was greeted as a hero,[1][2][3] pardoned by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev despite contrary assurances made to Hungary,[4] promoted to the rank of major and given an apartment and over eight years of back pay.[5] According to Azerbaijani authorities, Safarov was pardoned in compliance with Article 12 of the convention.[6][7][8] Following Safarov's pardon, Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary and immediate protests broke out in Yerevan.[9]

Early life[edit]

Ramil Safarov was born on August 25, 1977 in the town of Jabrayil, former Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic of Soviet Union (now Azerbaijan Republic) where he finished middle school. He is one of four brothers. Jabrayil was captured by Armenian forces on August 26, 1993, and remains under Armenian control as part of the unresolved Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Safarov's family fled to Baku in 1991. During a court hearing, Safarov recounted memories from the years of war, during which he had lost family members.[10] This, however, contradicted another version he told the court, where he stated that he was studying in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku and in Turkey from 1992 to 1996.[10] He continued his studies at Maltepe Military High School in İzmir and then at the Turkish Military Academy, graduating in 2000, after which he returned to Azerbaijan.[11]

Budapest murder[edit]

In January 2004, the 26-year-old Ramil Safarov, along with another officer from Azerbaijan, went to Budapest (Hungary), to participate in the three-month English language courses, organized by NATO's Partnership for Peace program for military personnel from different countries. Two Armenian officers, a 25-year old Gurgen Margaryan and Hayk Makuchyan, also participated in this program.

External images
The murder weapon

On the evening of February 18, Safarov bought an axe and a honing stone near Tesco, at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium.[12][13] He took them in the bag to his dormitory room at the Zrinyi Miklos National Defence University, where all the course participants were staying.[12] Safarov's roommate had returned his native Ukraine to attend the funerals of his relatives and so nobody interrupted Safarov as he sharpened the axe in his room.[12] At around 5:00 am on February 19 Safarov took the axe and went to Margaryan's room, which he was sharing with his Hungarian roommate, Balázs Kuti. The door of their room was not locked.[12] Safarov attacked Margaryan as he was sleeping with the axe and delivered 16 blows to his body, which almost severed Margaryan’s head.[10] The noises woke up Kuti, who was shocked seeing the Azerbaijani officer standing by Gurgen’s bed with a long ax in his hands. As Kuti later testified, “By that time I understood that something terrible had happened for there was blood all around. I started to shout at the Azerbaijani urging him to stop it. He said that he had no problems with me and would not touch me, stabbed Gurgen a couple of more times and left. The expression of his face was as if he was glad he had finished something important. Greatly shocked, I ran out of the room to find help, and Ramil went in another direction”.[14][15]

Afterwards, Safarov headed for the room of Makuchyan, the other Armenian student, with the intention of attacking him also, but found his door locked.[13][14][16] He shouted out Makuchyan’s name in a threatening voice. The half-sleeping Makuchyan wanted to open the door, but his Lithuanian roommate stopped him and called his compatriot next door to check what was going on.[14][17] Meanwhile, Safarov went to look for Hayk in the room of the Serbian and the Ukrainian roommates, showing them the blood-stained axe and stating that he thirsted for nobody's blood but Armenian.[14]

Safarov then attempted to break the door with the axe, but, by this time, the students in the neighboring rooms already woke up, went out to the corridor and tried to persuade him to stop.[12] Later the eyewitnesses confessed that they were afraid to approach Ramil with a blood-stained axe closer than at three meters.[14]

Soon after, the Hungarian police, which was summoned by Balázs Kuti, arrived and arrested Safarov at the scene.[12] Hungarian court later found that it was an attempt on Mukuchyan’s life and recognized the latter also as a victim.[18] While announcing the verdict the judge particularly emphasized that if Safarov had not been restrained by his fellow officers he would have killed the second Armenian officer as well.[19]

Interrogation and trial[edit]

During his initial interrogation Safarov confessed to killing Margaryan and his intention to kill Makuchyan. Questioned about his motives during the interrogation, Safarov stated:

I regret that I hadn't killed any Armenian before this. The army sent me to this training and here I learnt that two Armenians were taking the same course with us. I must say that hatred against Armenians grew inside me. In the beginning we were greeting each other, or rather they said "hi" to me but I didn't respond. The reason why I committed the murder was that they passed by and smiled in our face. At that moment I decided to kill them, i.e. to saw their heads off...[12][unreliable source?][13][20][21]


I have been a soldier for 14 years now, but I cannot give an answer whether I would kill if I were a civil person. I haven't thought on the question whether I would kill Armenians if I were civil [sic]. My job is to kill all, because until they live we will suffer.[12][unreliable source?][22]
..
If not here and now, then I would do the same thing any other time and in any other place. If there were more Armenians here I would like to kill all of them. It is a pity this was the first occasion and I hadn't managed to get better prepared for this action... My calling is to kill all the Armenians.[23][24]

According to Balázs Kuti, at the very beginning of the language courses, when the students got acquainted, there was a conversation about different international issues, but nobody spoke of it afterwards. Kuti also said that he had not noticed any strain in the relationship between Margaryan and the Azerbaijani officers.[15] Makuchyan's neighbor, officer Saulus Paulus also said that he observed nothing strange in the relationship between the Armenian and the Azerbaijani guys.[13] The police afterwards interrogated all the students and all testified that there was no conflict between the Armenian and the Azerbaijani officers and that they did not even interact with each other.[14] Later in an interview to the Armenian newspaper “Iravunk” Hayk Makuchyan confirmed that neither Gurgen nor him had had any contacts with any of the Azerbaijani officers. “They were not of a communicative type. Usually, after classes, they went straight to their rooms”, said Hayk.[14] To the question as to why he chose to attack Margaryan first Safarov answered it was because he was big, muscular and of sportive type.[13]

When the case went to trial Safarov's defense asserted that the murder was committed because Margaryan had insulted the Azerbaijani flag.[10] This explanation later underwent several variations in the press in Azerbaijan and among his defenders. It was claimed that Margaryan and/or Makuchyan had urinated on the Azerbaijani flag; used it to clean and wipe their shoes; and had played an audio recording of "voices of suffering Azerbaijani women and girls."[25] No witnesses were ever called during the trial to corroborate these allegations of harassment in court and prosecution lawyers strongly disputed that they had taken place.[10][21][22] Safarov did not mention any of this in either his interrogation or his court trial and made it very clear he killed Margaryan just because he was an Armenian.[21][22] Despite the lack of evidence the Azerbaijani media, including state-owned media outlets, have circulated the version of the flag for making Safarov a national hero.[21]

The defense also alleged that Safarov was mentally sick when committing the murder, however the forensic medical examination, which was upheld by the judge, showed that "Safarov was sane and aware of the consequences of his act".[26]

On April 13, 2006, a Hungarian court sentenced Safarov to life imprisonment without right of appeal for 30 years.[10] The judge, Andras Vaskuti, cited the premeditated nature and brutality of the crime and the fact that Safarov showed no remorse for his deeds as the reasons for the sentence. Handing down a life sentence, the judge particularly emphasised that “the murder of a sleeping man in peace time is always a crime and cannot be an act of heroism”.[10][22] On February 22, 2007, a Hungarian appeal court upheld the ruling following an appeal filed by Safarov's lawyer.[27] While serving his sentence, Safarov translated several novels by Hungarian authors into Azeri, including Magda Szabó's The Door (Hungarian: Az ajtó)[28] and The Paul Street Boys (Hungarian: A Pál utcai fiúk) (youth novel by the Hungarian writer Ferenc Molnár).[29]

Reaction to the murder and the sentence[edit]

A lawyer representing the victim's family welcomed the sentence as a "good decision for the Hungarian court and for Armenian society."[30]

Many officials in Azerbaijan publicly condemned Safarov's actions while there were also those who praised them openly. Elmira Suleymanova, the human rights commissioner (ombudsman) of Azerbaijan, declared that Safarov's punishment was far too harsh and that "Safarov must become an example of patriotism for the Azerbaijani youth".[10][31] The banned radical Azerbaijan National Democrat Party awarded Safarov with the title of "Man of the Year 2005" for killing an Armenian.[32]

Fuad Agayev, a prominent Azeri lawyer, said that Azeris "...have to urgently stop this current campaign to raise Safarov to the rank of national hero. He is no hero.”[10]

The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs condemned Azerbaijan's reaction to the brutal murder of the Armenian officer in a hearing. A report which was published by the Committee on Foreign Affairs contained a statement by Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of America, who stated that "The Azerbaijani government has also consistently failed to condemn Safarov, an Azeri military officer who in 2003 [sic] brutally murdered an Armenian participant at a NATO Partnership for Peace military training exercise in Budapest, Hungary. Instead, it has encouraged domestic media and various organizations to treat the murderer as a celebrity. That individual has since been awarded the title of 'Man of the Year' by Azerbaijan’s National-Democratic Party."[32]

Extradition and pardon[edit]

Safarov's welcome in Azerbaijan[edit]

After serving eight years of the life sentence, Safarov was extradited under the framework guidelines of the 1983 Strasbourg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and transferred to Azerbaijan on August 31, 2012.[3] Although the Hungarian government stated that it had received assurances from the Azerbaijan government that the remainder of the sentence would be enforced, President Ilham Aliyev issued a pardon immediately upon Safarov's arrival in Baku and ordered that he be "freed from the term of his punishment."[33]

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev promoted Safarov to the rank of major and the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan provided him with an apartment and over eight years of back pay.[5][34] On September 1, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said that the return of Safarov to Azerbaijan is a matter of relations between Azerbaijan and Hungary, which was resolved in the "framework of the law and is not contrary to norms and principles of the international law."[35] He described Sargsyan's statements as "hysterical" and accused him of being one of the leaders of the group that committed the Khojaly Massacre.[35]

After arriving in Baku, Safarov stated: "This is restoration of justice. It was a bit of surprise for me."[36] He then visited Martyrs' Lane to lay flowers at the tomb of Azerbaijan's former president Heydar Aliyev. He also laid flowers at the Eternal Flame monument and visited a monument to Turkish soldiers.[37]

Novruz Mammadov, the head of the presidential foreign relations department, said that secret talks had been going on for a year between Azerbaijan and Hungary, and that agreement had been reached on the visit of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.[38]

A week before Safarov's release there came reports that the two countries were in talks over a loan from Azerbaijan to Hungary of 2-3bn euros ($2.5-3.8bn; £1.6-2.4bn) which gave way to speculations in Hungary that Orban extradited Safarov in return for a promise that Azerbaijan would buy Hungarian bonds.[39][40]

Azerbaijani high-ranking officials have praised Safarov's extradition and pardon giving him a hero's welcome. Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Novruz Mammadov stated in the interview:

Yes, he is in Azerbaijan. This is a great news for all of us. It is very touching to see this son of the homeland, which was thrown in jail after he defended his country's honor and dignity of the people.[41][42]

Elnur Aslanov, Chief of the Political Analysis and Information Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan said that "...heroes as Mubariz Ibrahimov and Ramil Safarov with their bravery brought the second breath to the Azerbaijani society and people”.[43]

Ali Ahmedov, Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party stated that the "Order of President Ilham Aliyev to pardon Ramil Safarov is a triumph of determination, courage and justice".[44]

Prominent public figures in Azerbaijan have made similar statements endorsing Safarov's image as a hero. Famous Azerbaijani singer and a deputy of Azerbaijani Parliament Zeynab Khanlarova made the following statement:

Safarov is not just a hero of Azerbaijan, he is an international hero! A monument should be set up to him. Not every man could do this. There are two heroes - Mr. Ilham Aliyev and Ramil Safarov. I would have done exactly as Ramil did. He did the right thing to take the life of an Armenian.[45]

Commenting on the hero's welcome received by Safarov in Azerbaijan, Geydar Dzhemal, political scientist, the Chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, said, “I am absolutely convinced that the welcoming of Ramil Safarov as a hero in Azerbaijan is quite natural”.[46]

On September 19, 2013 during the opening ceremony of the "Genocide Memorial Complex built in the town of Guba to honor victims of massacres committed in the area by Armenian and Bolshevik forces in 1918", President Aliyev stated that they "restored the justice" by returning Safarov to Azerbaijan.[47] Аzeri leader has more than once called Armenians number one enemy, while Safarov’s attorney stated at Budapest trial that "killing an Armenian is not a crime in Azerbaijan."[48]

International reaction[edit]

Armenia[edit]

External video
Protesters burn the Hungarian flag in Yerevan on YouTube

President Serzh Sargsyan announced Armenia's suspension of diplomatic relations and all official communications with Hungary on the day of Safarov's release.[49] "This is not a simple murder. It is murder on ethnic grounds," he said.[50]

Sargsyan suggested the possibility that Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán had entered into a secret agreement during the latter's visit to Baku on June 30, 2012. A number of sources in the media have also speculated that Hungary's deepening economic ties with Azerbaijan may have had something to do with Safarov's release.[33][51] Sargsyan concluded his statements by saying, "with their joint actions the authorities of Hungary and Azerbaijan have opened the door for the recurrence of such crimes."[49]

Demonstrations took place in front of the Hungarian consulate in Yerevan, during which the building was pelted with tomatoes. Demonstrators also burned a Hungarian flag. A photo of Safarov was also burned by the activists.[52][53] National Assembly Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan cancelled his visit to Hungary planned for late September.[54]

Hayk Makuchyan, whom Safarov unsuccessfully planned to kill on the same night as Margaryan, stated that he will petition to all judicial instances and possibly The Hague, since the murder was committed on ethnic grounds, adding: "I had no doubt that Ramil Safarov would not have served his sentence in the case of an extradition. But the Azerbaijani leadership’s cynicism surpassed everything."[55]

Hungary[edit]

Armenians protest in Los Angeles
Armenians protest in front of the Hungarian Embassy in Nicosia

On September 2 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary announced the country "refuses to accept and condemns the action of Azerbaijan, which contradicts the relevant rules of international law and sharply contrasts the undertaking of the Azerbaijani side in this matter, confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan in his letter <...> of 15 August 2012."[56] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the action of Azerbaijan in a diplomatic note.[56] The press release also states that "Hungary regards the decision of Azerbaijan inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation based on mutual trust that has been achieved during the past years between our respective countries."[56]

The opposition parties strongly criticized Viktor Orbán and his cabinet for the move.[57] Despite government denials, opposition parties said Orbán let Safarov return to Azerbaijan in the hope of economic favors in return from the energy producer Azerbaijan.[58]

Representatives of MSZP, the largest opposition party, called for various subcommittees of the parliament to examine who exactly made the decision and why the procedure was kept secret. MSZP had been in power until 2010, and had refused to release Safarov.[59] The Socialists have also called on Orbán to resign over the decision.[58]

Other countries[edit]

  •  United States: Both the United States National Security Council and the State Department expressed "deep concern" over the matter. The press statement from Washington said: "We are expressing our deep concern to Azerbaijan regarding this action and seeking an explanation. We are also seeking further details from Hungary regarding the decision to transfer Mr. Safarov to Azerbaijan."[60] National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor also stated: "President Obama is deeply concerned by today’s announcement that the President of Azerbaijan has pardoned Ramil Safarov following his return from Hungary... We are communicating to Azerbaijani authorities our disappointment about the decision to pardon Safarov. This action is contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation."[61] The Azerbaijani foreign ministry responded, "it is perplexing that the U.S. government interferes in the relations of two independent states - Azerbaijan and Hungary" and suggested that the U.S. response was connected to the elections in U.S.[62]
  •  Russia: On September 3, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement: "In Russia, which is the co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, received reports with deep concern regarding the clemency of Baku Azeri serviceman Ramil Safarov, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the commission of the murder of an Armenian officer with an extreme atrocity in Hungary in the 2004, as well as regarding the preceded decision of the Hungarian authorities to extradite him to Azerbaijan. We believe that these actions of Azerbaijan, as well as the Hungarian authorities to run counter to the efforts agreed at international level, particularly through the OSCE Minsk Group, directed to reduce tension in the region."[63]
  •  France: Foreign Ministry said that "France expresses her concern following the announcement of the pardon granted to M. Safarov by the Azerbaijani authorities". As one of the OSCE Minsk Group countries, France is "strongly committed to a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, [and] believes that this decision risks seriously damaging the negotiation efforts and the establishment of a climate of trust between the parties."[64]
  •  Sweden: Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted "Strange decision in Azerbaijan to pardon man having murdered an Armenian in Hungary. Rule of law must apply.".[65]
  •  Cyprus: Foreign Affairs Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis's statement said "we deeply regret and deplore this Presidential pardon and the damage inflicted by the actions that followed the release, aimed at glorifying this hideous crime, to the reconciliation efforts with Azerbaijan and we are also very concerned of its effects on regional stability."[66]

Organizations[edit]

  •  United Nations UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his concern over Safarov's extradition and subsequent pardon.[67] The U.N.'s top human rights official also strongly criticized Safarov's pardon. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's spokesman, Rupert Colville, told reporters Friday in Geneva that "ethnically motivated hate crimes of this gravity should be deplored and properly punished – not publicly glorified by leaders and politicians... We are also in full agreement with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group who earlier this week expressed deep concern about “the damage the pardon and any attempts to glorify the crime have done to the [Nagorno-Karabakh] peace process and trust between the two sides.""[68][69]
  •  European Union: EU Foreign Affairs Representative Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle announced that they are "concerned by the news that the President of Azerbaijan has pardoned Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov". They called on Azerbaijan and Armenia "to exercise restraint, on the ground as well as in public statements, in order to prevent an escalation of the situation in the interest of regional stability and on-going efforts towards reconciliation".[70]
  • European Parliament passed a resolution on the Ramil Safarov case, stating that it “deplores the decision by the President of Azerbaijan to pardon Ramil Safarov”, "the hero’s welcome accorded to Mr Safarov in Azerbaijan and the decision to promote him to the rank of major…” as well as expresses a “concern about the example this sets for future generations and about the promotion and recognition he has received from the Azerbaijani state”. As for the legitimacy of Aliyev’s pardon the European Parliament "Considers that, while the presidential pardon granted to Mr Safarov complies with the letter of the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, it runs contrary to the spirit of that international agreement, which was negotiated to allow the transfer of a person convicted on the territory of one state to serve the remainder of his or her sentence on the territory of another state”.[71]
  • CSTO Flag.png Collective Security Treaty Organisation: Secretary-General Nikolay Bordyuzha stated that Azerbaijan's decision to pardon Safarov is against international law. He then continued, "this move was obviously done for the sake of short-term political goals and can not be justified by anything".[72]
  • OSCE logo.svg OSCE Minsk Group: The OSCE Minsk Group (composed of negotiators from the US, Russia and France to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) stated that Azerbaijan's pardoning of a military officer who murdered an Armenian officer has harmed attempts to establish peace between the countries.[73]
  •  NATO: NATO likewise condemned Safarov's pardon. NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen expressed his "deep concern" and stated that "The act [Safarov] committed in 2004 was a terrible crime that should not be glorified. The pardon damages trust and does not contribute to the peace process."[74]

Non-governmental organizations[edit]

Amnesty International human rights organization issued a public statement on the occasion of Safarov's release, which stated, "By pardoning and then promoting Ramil Safarov, President Aliyev has signalled to Azerbaijanis that violence against Armenians is not only acceptable, but rewarded. The Azerbaijani government should rescind any privileges awarded to Safarov and publicly condemn ethnic violence."[21]

British expert on Caucasus Thomas de Waal called President Aliyev's move to pardon Safarov "deeply provocative." In De Waal's view, "This is now a full-blown state-to-state row, with as yet unknowable consequences."[75]

Azerbaijan

Mixed thoughts came from Azerbaijani organizations and figures in Azerbaijani society. Zardusht Alizadeh, chair of the Open Society Institute in Azerbaijan, condemned the act of pardon, saying it would not contribute positively to the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. According to Alizadeh, the act was not based on any political will, respect of law or interest in conflict resolution, but instead had only "cheap fame" to it.[76] While the Head of the Congress of Azeri-Turkic Women Tanzila Rustamkhanli, who is known for her nationalist views and writer Aysel Alizadeh justified the pardon,[77] the noted journalist Khadija Ismayilova, Radio Liberty's lead correspondent in Azerbaijan, commented that what Safarov had done was "awful" and the reaction of seeing him as a hero "happens when society is not allowed to do anything. They are angry. People of Azerbaijan lost the war, lost the territory to occupants, became refugees, lost their siblings including civilians and they were stopped and banned from restoring justice on the battle field." on her Facebook account.

Former deputy of the Azerbaijan National Assembly and writer Akram Aylisli refused to comment on the "campaign," but did note that he had his "own ideas of and approach to heroism."[78] Azerbaijani media have criticized the United States' concern for Safarov's pardon and added that it should have reacted the same way when Varoujan Garabedian, a member of ASALA who was imprisoned in France, was expelled to Armenia after his pardon by France in 2001.[79] Meanwhile, the organization Azerbaijani Americans for Democracy sent an open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging the United States to devote more of its attention to the human rights abuses of President Aliyev, instead of Safarov's pardon.[80]

The leading Azerbaijani Russian-language news website Day.az called on its readers to edit the Russian Wikipedia article on Safarov to prevent it from the possible "revenge of Armenian nationalists."[81]

Hungary

Péter Erdő, the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and the Hungarian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, in a letter to Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, issued a statement expressing "full solidarity with the Armenian Christians and with the Armenian people that has so much suffered in the past."[82]

In October 2012 four Hungarian intellectuals - historian, political analyst Zoltán Bíró, rector of the John Wesley Theological College Gábor Iványi, journalist/publicist Gábor Deák and writer Rudolf Ungváry, arrived in Armenia to apologize for the extradition of Ramil Safarov. During the press conference in Yerevan they stated: “We organized the journey to inform of most of Hungarian people’s disagreement, and our discontent with the authorities’ decision to transfer a sleeping officer’s assassin back to his homeland." Mr. Iványi said, “We have come to express our regret and shame. Hungary didn’t even officially recognize the Armenian Genocide as the country was in need of Turkish support then. As for the prime minister having allowed for the extradition, he would have resigned his post”.[83]

Hungarian scientist and expert in Armenian studies Benedek Zsigmond joined in the protest organized by many NGOs in Hungary against the decision of Safarov's extradition and made a public statement of apology for the Hungarian government's action. On his Facebook page he wrote "Today I feel ashamed that I am Hungarian. I apologize to all Armenians... Today is the black day in the recent history of Hungary."[84] He also personally apologized during his visit to Armenia calling the extradition an "unacceptable, amoral act".[85][86]

A Facebook page was created on September 1, apologizing for Hungarian PM's actions. The group is called "Hey Armenia, sorry about our Prime Minister" (a poster with similar title was used in fall 2011, asking EU for forgiveness for Orbán) and has more than 12,400 likes as of 27 March 2013.[87]

On September 4, 2012, a demonstration took place in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building in Kossuth Square. It was reported that about two thousand Hungarians protested against their government's actions.[88][89]

Armenian diaspora

In many cities around the world where Armenian diaspora is present demonstrations took place against Hungarian and Azerbaijani government actions, including New York,[90] Ottawa,[91] Tbilisi,[92] Rostov-on-Don.[93] and Nicosia.[94]

A year after Safarov had been extradicted, the Armenian community in Hungary revealed they do not feel safe. Their relationship with the Hungarian government is getting worse everyday and that the authorities are making their lives more difficult through scare tactics.[95]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Azeri killer Ramil Safarov: Concern over Armenian anger". BBC News. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. "Ramil Safarov was given a hero's welcome on his return to Azerbaijan last week." 
  2. ^ "Hero's welcome for Azerbaijan axe murderer". Al Jazeera. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Armenia cuts ties with Hungary over Azerbaijan killer pardon". BBC News. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Azerbaijan pardons, frees convicted killer". Fox News. Associated Press. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "As Armenia Protests Killer's Pardon, Azerbaijan Promotes Him". Radio Free Europe. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ramil Safarov's pardon 'in line with the Constitution and laws of Azerbaijan'". News.az. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons". Council of Europe. 21.III.1983. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Armenia breaks ties with Hungary over clemency for murderer". Russia Today. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Armenians hold anti-Hungary rally over Azeri killer pardon". BBC. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Grigorian, Marina; Orujev, Rauf (20 April 2006). "Murder Case Judgement Reverberates Around Caucasus". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Gunel Abilova. 'Ramil Said He'd Never Commit Suicide'. Markaz.az. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Full text of Safarov's first interrogation[unreliable source?]
  13. ^ a b c d e safarov.org The murder
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Murderpedia: Ramil Safarov
  15. ^ a b "Kuti Balazs, an eye-witness". Budapest case. 19 February 2004. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  16. ^ Asbarez. Safarov Trial Resumes in Budapest
  17. ^ "Murder of Lt. Gurgen Margaryan". Budapest case. 19 February 2004. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  18. ^ panarmenian.net Safarov victim Hayk Makuchyan to apply to European institutions
  19. ^ BBC News [Hungary jails Azerbaijani killer http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4907552.stm]
  20. ^ "Аргументы и Факты" Владимир Полупанов: Об убийцах с топором и национальных героях "Я жалею, что ни одного армянина до сих пор не убил… Меня армия послала на эти курсы, и здесь я узнал, что с нами на курсах находятся двое армян. Скажу, что во мне против армян зародилась ненависть. Вначале ещё здоровались, то есть они здоровались со словами «хай», но я не отвечал им, и любопытно было то, что, когда они прошли мимо, то что-то пробормотали на армянском и улыбнулись мне в лицо. В этот момент я решил их убить, то есть отрубить им головы (утром)."
  21. ^ a b c d e Amnesty International Azerbaijan: Government sends dangerous message on ethnically-motivated violence
  22. ^ a b c d Kristóf Szombati. Heinrich Boell Foundation What does the Safarov case tell us about Hungary today?
  23. ^ «Если не сегодня и здесь, я повторил бы свой поступок в любое время и в любом месте. Если бы здесь было больше армян, я бы всех хотел поубивать. Жаль, что это первый случай, и я не мог лучше подготовиться к этой акции… Мое призвание в том, чтобы я убил всех армян…»Safarov.org
  24. ^ Рамиль Сафаров: Мое призвание в том, чтобы убить всех армян
  25. ^ Pearce, Katy. "Deep Dive: Filling In The Gaps -- Reading The Ramil Safarov Case In Azerbaijan." RFE/RL. September 10, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  26. ^ Panorama 04/03/2013. Hero-murderer Ramil Safarov told about his bodily fear towards Armenians
  27. ^ "Azeri jailed for life in Hungary for killing Armenian". Reuters. 22 February 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  28. ^ Ramil Safarov Translated Another Work by Hungarian Writer. Day.az. 14 September 2011.
  29. ^ "The Paul Street Boys translated by Ramil Safarov published in Azerbaijani". Azerbaijan Press Agency (APA). 28 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  30. ^ "Hungary jails Azerbaijani killer". BBC News. April 13, 2006. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ “Zerkalo” Newspaper, Baku, 28.02.2004
  32. ^ a b Ideals vs. Reality in Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Cases of Azerbaijan, Cuba, and Egypt. Committee on Foreign Affairs - House of Representatives. 2007. p. 12. 
  33. ^ a b "Azerbaijani military officer serving life for murder in Hungary is freed when sent home". Washington Post. Associated Press. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  34. ^ Mehdiyev, E. (September 1, 2012). "Azerbaijani Defense Ministry grants apartment to Ramil Safarov". Trend News Agency. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  35. ^ a b Aliyev, M. (September 1, 2012). "Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Safarov's return not contrary to international law". Trend News Agency. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Ramil Safarov: "This is restoration of justice"". Azerbaijan Press Agency. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Ramil Safarov pays respect to national leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani heroes". TODAY.AZ. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  38. ^ "'Agreement during Hungarian Premier’s visit decisive in Ramil Safarov’s issue'". News.az. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  39. ^ Euobserver 03.09.12. Axe murder complicates EU-Azerbaijan love affair
  40. ^ BBC 06 Sept 2012. Azeri killer Ramil Safarov: Nato chief 'concerned'.
  41. ^ News.az Agreement during Hungarian Premier’s visit decisive in Ramil Safarov’s issue
  42. ^ Euobserver. Axe murder complicates EU-Azerbaijan love affair
  43. ^ Apa.az, 26.09.2011 Department Chief of Presidential Administration Elnur Aslanov: “Mubariz Ibrahimov and Ramil Safarov brought second breath to Azerbaijan"
  44. ^ Today.az, 01.09.2012 NAP: "Safarov's release is triumph of courage and justice"
  45. ^ AzNews 03.10.2012
  46. ^ Day.Az. 04.09.2012
  47. ^ "Azerbaijani President: “There will be time, we will live in Irevan, Goyce and Zengezur". APA. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  48. ^ Panarmenian.net August 25, 2012
  49. ^ a b "Remarks by the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan at the Meeting with the Heads of Diplomatic Missions Accredited in the Republic of Armenia". The Office to the President of the Republic of Armenia. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Armenia cuts links with Hungary after axe-killer pardon". Focus Information Agency. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  51. ^ "Blunder in Budapest". The Economist. September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Armenian activists threw down Hungarian flag". ArmenPress. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Armenians hold anti-Hungary rally over Azeri killer pardon". BBC News. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Speaker of the Armenian Parliament cancels his visit to Hungary". ArmenPress. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  55. ^ "Armenian officer, who miraculously escaped from Azerbaijani serviceman’s axe, will fight for his rights". News.am. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  56. ^ a b c "Press release". Website of the Hungarian Government. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  57. ^ (Hungarian) "Navracsics és Martonyi távozását követelik". ATV. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  58. ^ a b Reuters, 18 Sep 2012 Reuters INSIGHT-Hungarians impatiently await promised "fairy tale"
  59. ^ (Hungarian) "MSZP: Titkos paktum Safarov átadásáról?". NOL / MTI. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  60. ^ "Pardon of Azerbaijani Soldier". U.S. State Department. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  61. ^ "Statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Azerbaijan’s Decision to Pardon Ramil Safarov". The White House. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  62. ^ Idoyatova, Anahanum (September 1, 2012). "Azerbaijan FM: It is perplexing that U.S. government interferes in relations of two independent states". Azerbaijan Press Agency (APA). Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Statement of t A.K. Lukashevich, Official Representative of MFA of Russia, regarding the extradition of Azerbaijani soldier by Hungary". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  64. ^ "Azerbaijan - Pardon granted to M.Safarov – Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman (September 3, 2012)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  65. ^ Carl Bildt: Strange decision in Azerbaijan to pardon man having murdered an Armenian in Hungary. Rule of law must apply.
  66. ^ "Cyprus FM deplores release of Ramil Safarov". News.am. September 15, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  67. ^ HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON. THURSDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER 2012. Secretary-General Voices Concern Over Case of Azeri Man
  68. ^ Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Press briefing note on Azerbaijan, 7 September 2012
  69. ^ Yahoo News. Azerbaijan's president defends killer's pardon
  70. ^ "Statement by the spokespersons of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the release of Ramil Safarov". European Union. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  71. ^ European Parliament resolution on Azerbaijan: the Ramil Safarov case (2012/2785(RSP)
  72. ^ (Russian) "Комментарий Генерального секретаря Организации Договора о коллективной безопасности Н.Бордюжи о ситуации вокруг решения властей Азербайджана помиловать убийцу армянского офицера" (in Russian). Организация Договора о коллективной безопасности/Collective Security Treaty Organisation. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  73. ^ "OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs meet with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  74. ^ Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Yerevan State University in Yerevan, Armenia 06 Sep. 2012
  75. ^ Thomas de Waal (September 4, 2012). "Viewpoint: Setback for peace in the Caucasus". BBC News. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  76. ^ "'Ağ ev Ramil Səfərovun əfvindən narahatdır'". RFE/RL. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  77. ^ Xədicə, Ramil Səfərov cinayətkardırsa, sən də...
  78. ^ "Akram Aylisli: I have my own ideas."
  79. ^ Ramil Səfərova görə Bakını qınayan ABŞ bir neçə erməni terrorçusunu əfv edib - ANSpress.
  80. ^ AZAD Sent Open Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton on Ramil Safarov Controversy
  81. ^ "Данные в "Википедии" о Рамиле Сафарове могут стать объектом мести армянских националистов" [Data on Wikipedia could be a target of revenge of the Armenian nationalists] (in Russian). Day.az. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  82. ^ "Erdő Péter bíboros levele Őszentsége II. Karekin örmény katolikosz részére". Magyar Katolikus Püspöki Konferencia. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  83. ^ Hungarian intellectuals in Yerevan to apologize for Safarov extradition
  84. ^ "Georgiatimes. Safarov's extradition: Crime without punishment."
  85. ^ Tert.am. Hungarian Armenologist condemns decision to extradite Safarov (video)
  86. ^ Armenianweekly. ‘Sorry, Armenia!’: Thousands of Hungarians Apologize, Condemn Government for Safarov Extradition
  87. ^ "Hey Armenia, sorry about our Prime Minister". Facebook. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  88. ^ "Hungarians protest against release of Azeri officer". Reuters. September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  89. ^ Video: Thousands Of Hungarians Protest Safarov Release
  90. ^ "Hundreds Protest Safarov Release in New York". Asbarez. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  91. ^ http://asbarez.com/105321/hundreds-protest-safarov-release-ottawa/
  92. ^ "Վրացահայերը Թբիլիսիում Հունգարիայի դեսպանատան առջև էին` բողոքում էին Ադրբեջանում Ռամիլ Սաֆարովի ազատ արձակման կապակցությամբ" [Georgian Armenians were in front of the Hungarian embassy in Tbilisi] (in Armenian). September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  93. ^ "Армяне Ростова-на-Дону провели акцию у представительства Венгрии" [Roston-on-Don Armenians held a protest in front of the Hungarian representation]. «Блокнот» (in Russian). September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  94. ^ "Armenian’s in Cyprus protest Safarov extradition". Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation. September 5, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  95. ^ "Armenian community of Hungary reminds authorities of Safarov's deal". Armenpress. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

External links[edit]