–Hungarian Government Extradited & Aliyev Pardoned Azerbaijani Soldier who Axed Armenian Soldier to Death in his Sleep
On August 31, 2012 the Hungarian government extradited (released) Ramil Safarov, the unrepentant Azerbaijani soldier who murdered Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, in his sleep, with an axe during a 2004 NATO training exercise. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev immediately pardoned and then freed Safarov upon his arrival in Baku. He has received a hero’s welcome for this brutal murder.
Please take a moment to respond to this miscarriage of justice by taking the following actions. Sample letters can be found below.
1) Call or Email the Hungarian Ambassador to Canada, Dr. László PORDÁNY , to share your concerns in a principled, polite, but firm manner.
2) Call or Email Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to inform them of these events and to make a statement regarding their position on the matter.
Gurgen Margaryan and Ramil Safarov were in Budapest, Hungary to participate in a NATO Partnership for Peace program in 2004. Safarov sneaked into Margaryan’s dorimitory at night while he slept and proceeded to hack him to death with an axe. The police office on scene commented the murder was conducted”with unusual cruelty,” adding “beside a number of knife wounds on his chest, the victim’s head was practically severed from his body.” Azerbaijan’s National-Democratic Party awarded Ramil Safarov with the title of ‘‘Man of the Year 2005’’ for the act of killing an Armenian.
After serving eight years of his sentence, Safarov was extradited from Hungary to Azerbaijan, where he was immediately pardon by the president, Ilham Aliyev, and received a hero’s welcome. Armenia has announce they have suspended diplomatic relations with country of Hungary for allowing the convicted murderer of one of its citizens walk free. United States National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor commented on President Barack Obama’s deep concern “of today’s announcement that the President of Azerbaijan has pardoned Ramil Safarov following his return from Hungary”. “The United States,” he added “is also requesting an explanation from Hungary regarding its decision to transfer Safarov to Azerbaijan.”
His Excellency Laszlo Pordany
Ambassador of Hungary
I am writing to you to condemn the actions of the Hungarian government in extraditing unrepentant axe murder Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan. Armenians around the world warned Hungary that Safarov would be immediately released and treated as a hero by Azerbaijan, despite any assurances they had made to the Hungarian government to the contrary.
Safarov has never expressed remorse for his crimes and can by no means be said to reformed. He is still motivated by the same evil ethnic hatred against Armenians which motivated his heinous crime.
Hungary’s actions have hurt the prospects for peace in Nagorno Karabakh and made it clear to Armenians that crimes against them will remain unpunished in Hungary. This action threatens to permanently impair the positive relationship between the Armenian and Hungarian peoples.
Nothing that Hungary can do will ever repair the damage that has already been done. However, Hungary can begin to regain the trust of Armenians by immediately calling upon Azerbaijan to imprison Safarov for the remainder of his sentence and lead world efforts to make sure that Azerbaijan’s provocative actions do not go unpunished. Anything else would be an affront to justice.
Thank you for your consideration.
Letter to Prime Minister of Canada
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, PC MP
I am writing to call upon you to condemn Hungary’s ill considered extradition and Azerbaijan’s release of Ramil Safarov, a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani military who was serving a life sentence in Hungary – with no expression of either regret or remorse – for the pre-meditated axe murder of Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, in his sleep, during a NATO Partnership for Peace program.
As expected, Safarov’s return to Baku was welcomed, as was his act of murder, by officials of Ilham Aliyev’s government and much of Azerbaijani society. The Azerbaijani government apparently had committed to Hungary that they would continue his prison term; yet, Aliyev immediately pardoned him.
The facts of this brutal murder are as clear as the imperative for Canada to publicly criticize Hungary’s extradition of a known and unapologetic terrorist, to openly condemn Baku’s subsequent release of Safarov, and to demand his immediate re-incarceration for the remainder of his life sentence. A lack of a forceful response to this grave injustice would, in addition to compromising Canada’s moral standing, undermine prospects for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh by emboldening an increasingly heavily armed Azerbaijani government to continue inciting its own citizens to violence, and encouraging it to continue its threats and actual acts of aggression.
The White House and US State Department have already demanded that Hungary and Azerbaijan explain their actions. Canada has a moral duty to do the same.
Thank you for your consideration.