International Community’s Tepid Reaction to Safarov Release

Slain Armenian soldier Gurgen Margaryan's funeral

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Public outrage around the world is on the rise following Hungary’s extradition on Friday and Baku’s subsequent pardon of Ramil Safarov, the axe murderer who killed an Armenian soldier in 2004 and received a life sentence for the crime in 2006. US, European and other stakeholders’ reaction, however, has been tepid at best, expressing “concern” about the incident, but failing to issue terse condemnation to Hungary and Azerbaijan for their brutal breech of justice and international law.

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmen scrambled over the weekend to manage the crisis and the impact this issue will have on the peace process. Reportedly at the urging of Armenia, the Co-chairmen, Robert Bradtke of the United States of America, Igor Popov of Russia and Jacques Faure of France, along with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-office, Andrzej Kasprzyk met separately with Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Paris over the weekend.

“They [the co-chairmen] expressed their deep concern and regret for the damage the pardon and any attempts to glorify the crime have done to the peace process and trust between the sides,” said an official statement released following the Paris meetings, reiterating the imperative for a peaceful solution to the Karabakh crisis.

Asbarez reported on Friday that the White House issued a statement saying “This action is contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation. The United States is also requesting an explanation from Hungary regarding its decision to transfer Safarov to Azerbaijan.”

Likewise, the State Department said it was “troubled” by the extradition and pardon and “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.”

Similar restrained expressions of “concern” were made by the EU’s Catherine Ashton and Stefan Fule, as well as the foreign ministers of France and Russia, the latter going a step further by saying that the actions by Baku went counter to international norms.

The strongest statement was made by the Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which Armenia is a member.

“This move, which apparently was made for some political reasons, cannot be justified. Making a hero out of the criminal will only contribute to the escalation of the already high tension in the region. I am convinced the international community will not hesitate to give an impartial assessment to what happened,” Nikolay Bordyuzha of the CSTO in his statement.

Furthermore, it took Hungary three days to summon the Azeri Ambassador to Budapest to demand a response for Azerbaijan reneging on its promise that Safarov would serve his life sentence in Azerbaijan, claiming that Baku’s actions are unacceptable.

“Hungary 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 addressed to the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary,” the document reads.

But the most egregious of all is NATO. Hungary is a NATO member. NATO has invested a lot of capital in advancing the “Partnership for Peace” program, which was the reason why Ramil Safarov and Gurgen Margaryan were in Hungary in 2004. Yet NATO has yet to speak about this incident.

These stakeholders, who claim that the Karabakh conflict is of utmost importance, should have condemned both Hungary and Azerbaijan for their callous disregard for human life and not merely express “concern” over this incident, which can have far reaching ramifications on the peace process.

This latest ploy by Azerbaijan to make a hero out of a murderer clearly proves the threat of what the international community has been pursuing for the past 20 years, with the US, the EU and NATO colluding to curtail the fundamental rights of Karabakh citizens to self-determination.

The international community’s refusal to express outrage and condemnation to the parties involved, signals their unwillingness to face the realities, about which Armenians have been talking and continue to pursue their failed policies of artificial even-handedness at the risk of harming the national security of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

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12 Comments

  1. HARUTUYN said:

    De hima tesak inch exav hayer jan dra hamar el Hayin miayn Haye kara oknel kovkasum mnasase jur en lsnum kamel jur en sesum jamanakna arten mer xekavarnere paylevani paranis ichnen nerkev u anen inch vor petka Hayi anunov ayo hen Hayi anunis. mnasase arten piti haskanum ek.

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  3. Avery said:

    “troubled” “deep concern” ….blah…….blah…..blah….
    useless, meaningless, empty bromides.

    {The international community’s refusal to express outrage and condemnation to the parties involved, signals their unwillingness to face the realities, about which Armenians have been talking and continue to pursue their failed policies of artificial even-handedness at the risk of harming the national security of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.}

    Right you are, Ara: very well said.

    Another confirmation to us all to maintain our unity, help RoA and NKR maintain powerful military forces, improve their economies, and strengthen the demographic base, become wealthier and more active politically in the Diaspora.

    We are in for a long struggle.

  4. Tsoghig said:

    Very very good commentary. Where is NATO?? What a sad sad world we live in. These two, at a training, a coward who viciously murders another person because of his last name, is praised, freed and all the heads of state fumble their words and trip over their “diplomatic” slap on the wrist of Hungary…barely a word about Aliyev’s lies. This is absolutely ridiculous and this should show us Armenians that absolutely no one gives a shit about us and we have to fight tooth and nail ourselves for what we want. We have get jobs within the government here in the US. Our AYF-ers ned to go into the foreign service and become the diplomats that write the statements that you have quoted above. Our people have to strengthen our country Armenia and Karabagh. We need to do what it takes to show the world that no one fucks with us, especially not cowards.

  5. ARA said:

    I’m shocked that NATO has not accepted any blame for this monstrous murder !! after it took place on their watch.
    Long live ARTSAKH and all Armenians.

  6. Sevag said:

    We’ve trie handling the NKR situation through the hadns of others – so that we’re all “on the same page”….time to walk away from these garbage committees, recognize NKR , and then allow these so called “OSCE” etc groups to handle the aftermath of whatever happens after that. Ultimately it is these groups’ fault if Armenia recognizes NNKR, and whatever aftermath occurs after that since they have done zero with the progress of NKR negotiations and this is what happens – a coward who killed someone in his sleep is considered a hero in Azerbaijan – bravo!

    • Jack said:

      Can someone please explain to me what will be the aftermath be when Armenia recognizes NKR? I never understood why that didn’t happen years ago. NKR is Armenian land. NKR *is* a republic. It isn’t being annexed to Armenia. So what is the concern?

  7. Vicken said:

    This is a very well written article, and like millions of people around the world, I was appalled by this turn of events, and on Friday night I started a petition drive on change.org, demanding an apology from the Hungarian government.

    So far more than 1600 signatures have been collected, many of them are Hungarians, who find the decision to be unjust.

    Please add your name to it. change.org recignized the legitimacy of the signature drive, and gave us until December 1, 2012 to collect as many signatures as possible

    To add your signature, please use the following link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-government-of-hungary-apologize-for-releasing-ramil-safarov-to-azerbaijan

  8. MK said:

    The so called democratic states of the west be it the EU,or Nato who preach human rights and democratic values to other countries are only interested in oil and gas,not in justice or such values,their only value is making dollars.Dont expect any such justice from the West,they are blowing hot air.

  9. Parsik said:

    How pittiful we all Armenians are, we always think we are something special and every body else should take care of our problems, but unfortunantly we are not. Like you guys in USA ( 2 million strong ) can’t even pass a century old genocide bill in your own country and back home our honorable president(who was like raging bull ready to go for fight couple of days ago in front of foreign political deligations asking for proper reaction to this shameful affair from their respective goverments ) and prime minister and deffence minister and every other big shot in the news lately are spreading the red carpet for NATO’s head chief today in Yerevan and bowing in front of him and probably dine and drink 50 years old Armenian cognac with him in the memory of our slain soldier, if this is real politics believe me we will be much better off for not being so polite, really shameful and I could say anything bitter no more…

  10. Pingback: Can an authoritarian state be tolerant? – Geopolitical TV

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