Monument to Slain Soldier to Be Unveiled in Yerevan

A soldier holds a picture of Gurgen Margaryan during his funeral, February 2004

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—A memorial monument for Armenian Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan will be unveiled in Yerevan on September 28. Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan was murdered in his sleep by Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov on February 19, 2004, in Budapest, as the two were attending three-month English language courses as part of NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” program.

Ramil Safarov, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary, was transferred back to his home country on August 31, 2012, under an extradition agreement, where he was immediately pardoned and awarded a hero’s medal by the Azerbaijani government.

Although Azerbaijan formally pledged that the life sentence handed down to Safarov in Hungary would be directly continued when he was returned to his homeland, the Azerbaijani president granted him clemency, national hero status, and provided him with a slew of lifetime government benefits.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian announced that same day that Armenia would suspend diplomatic relations with Hungary.

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