Aliyev Pardons Murderer of Armenian Soldier

Lt. Gurgen Markarian was brutally murdered by Ramil Safarov who is now free

ANCA Urges Obama to Publicly Criticize Hungary’s Action

BUDAPEST, WASHINGTON— An Azerbaijani military officer sentenced to life in prison in Hungary for hacking to death an Armenian officer was sent back to his homeland on Friday and, despite assurances, immediately pardoned and freed by his country’s president, reported the Associated Press.

Lt. Ramil Safarov was given a life sentence in 2006 by the Budapest City Court after he confessed to killing Lt. Gurgen Markarian of Armenia while both were in Hungary for a 2004 NATO language course.

Hungary returned the 35-year-old Safarov to Azerbaijan only after receiving assurances from the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry that Safarov’s sentence, which included the possibility of parole after 25 years, would be enforced.

“The Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan has further informed the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary that Ramil Sahib Safarov’s sentence will not be modified but will immediately continue to be enforced, based on the Hungarian judgment,” the Hungarian ministry said in a statement issued before the news of Safarov’s release was known.

The ministry said it based its decision on the 1983 Strasbourg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

In a brief statement posted in English on his website, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev decreed Friday that Safarov “should be freed from the term of his punishment.”

Hungary’s Justice Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Safarov’s release.

The Armenian National Committee of America issued an immediate action alert urging the community to protest Safarov’s release and wrote to President Obama on Friday urging him 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.”

The ANCA letter, signed by Chairman Ken Hachikian, stressed that: “A lack of a forceful American response to this grave injustice would, in addition to compromising our nation’s moral standing, undermine prospects for peace by emboldening an increasingly heavily armed Azerbaijani government to continue inciting its own citizens to violence and to encourage it to continue making threats and to commit actual acts of aggression.” (see letter below)

The ANCA also wrote to Ambassador Szapáry, on August 29, prior to Safarov’s release, to urge the government of Hungary to not extradite him, in the interest both of justice and the cause of peace in the Caucasus.  (The text of this letter is provided below).


August 31, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing, in the spirit of your June 18, 2012 joint statement with the leaders of Russia and France, about the peaceful settlement of Nagorno Karabakh, to call upon you to condemn Azerbaijan’s release of Ramil Safarov, a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani military who was recent extradited from Hungary, where he was serving a life sentence – 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 our government, which serves as a mediator of this conflict through the Minsk Group of the OSCE, 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 American response to this grave injustice would, in addition to compromising our nation’s moral standing, undermine prospects for peace 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.

I would like to also use this opportunity, to once again, request that you hold a personal meeting with the broad-based leadership of the Armenian American community.  As I have written to you in the past, the absence of direct discussions between you and your Armenian American constituents, a dialogue you pledged as a candidate to undertake, is unhealthy both for our democracy as well as for our diplomacy.

Kenneth V. Hachikian


August 29, 2012

His Excellency György Szapáry
The Ambassador of Hungary to the United States of America
Embassy of Hungary
3910 Shoemaker Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

I am writing, in the spirit of the longstanding friendship between the Hungarian and Armenian peoples, to share with you our concerns regarding published accounts that the government of Hungary may be considering the extradition to Azerbaijan of Ramil Safarov, a Lieutenant in the Azerbaijani military, who is currently serving a life sentence in your country for the February 2004 premeditated murder of Armenian Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, during a NATO Partnership for Peace program.

As you know, Safarov was convicted for murdering Lieutenant Margaryan in his sleep.  The brutal violence of Safarov’s cold-blooded, pre-planned axe murder – during which he nearly severed his victim’s head – is matched only by his chilling lack of remorse or repentance for his crime.  If he were to be returned to Baku, he would, very likely, be welcomed, as his act of murder was at the time, by government officials, political leaders, and many in Azerbaijani society.  Safarov’s extradition, in addition to representing a serious breach of justice in a clear case of homocide, would send a dangerous signal to the Azerbaijani government, emboldening it to continue inciting its own citizens to violence and, more broadly, encouraging it to continue undertaking threats and actual acts of aggression against both Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

We are, as you can imagine, hopeful that the accounts that have been published on this matter are unfounded and that consideration is not, in fact, being given to Safarov’s extradition.  We would, of course, welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your staff to address our concerns in greater detail, and to discuss any other issues of common concern.  Thank you for your kind consideration of our views on this matter.

Aram S. Hamparian
Executive Director


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  1. George said:

    War is a good Business last year only US exported $66 Billion of all types of Arms and Weapons, the purpose of these type of premeditaed action is only 1, to push both sides to WAR!, and sell more Arms.

    • Garo said:

      Let me tell you from now.. He will do NOTHING, just like he promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide. I even consider writing letters in the fashion above to corrupt politicians Democrat or Republican it doesn’t matter. They do NOT CARE who we are as people, do YOU UNDERTAND THIS MUCH, Armenians?

  2. Sevag said:

    Obama and Szapáry do not care. Hungary got rid of an inmate that they probably really did not care for nor care for why he was in prison and didn’t care what Azerbaijan did with him. It’s funny how people ffound “insane” when they commit murder, are sane enough to plan it…..

  3. bigmoustache said:

    thank you ANCA for trying so hard.
    armenian govt, your incompetence and lack of actions on this was the final straw. they should hang you like mussolini.
    and we should absolutly permanently break all relation with hungary

    • Arten said:

      Listen bigmustache, I don’t know how big your mustache really is but it certainly does not make you a man. I am convinced that you are plainly a provocateur, it is very clear now. Instead of wreaking havoc upon Azerbaijan and Hungary you yet again take the opportunity to bash the Armenian government in a time of such crises. It shows your true intentions, to sabotage our nation and break it. At times like this we should lend full support to the Armenian government, who’s response was very strong what have you. We should fully back ot up in all of its actions in this situation instead of fragmenting ourselves and critisizing it while the true guilty parties – the two countries mentioned above, laught on the sidelines. This is what turks wish to see, for venomous traitors like you to place blame on the Armenian government while they the turks continue to go around with impunity. Shame on you.

      • Avery said:

        Well said Arten:

        All Armenians worldwide must put aside any and all Party loyalties, personal dislikes, grudges, etc and unite behind RoA and NKR. No attempts to create discord and division is to be tolerated.

        And regarding the so-called “incompetent Armenian government”: the same “incompetents” people are bitching about have done such a magnificent job of creating and maintaining the most combat ready, toughest Defense Forces in the region (RoA and NKR), that to soothe the shattered psyche of the Azeri people and leadership, Azerbaijan is reduced to glorifying a lowlife psychopath who hacked a sleeping man to death. Any normal nation would be ashamed to even admit the nut is one of their own.

  4. Dvo said:

    a world without justice as long as you have power in this case oil you can do everything

    when are my Armenian brothers gone wake up Turks will not rest intil Armenians are completely destroyed

    WHY THE HELL NOBODY EVER CONDEMS AZERBAIJAN) They have broken all peace agreements this country only is serves by one puropse to black male and to exterminate Armenians.



    We need strong leaders for like Vazgen Sargsyan somone who could stand up and speak for us.

    Sometimes you have to stand up and fight against the bully if you want win

  5. Setta said:

    Perhaps this news isn’t really bad at all. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for the Republic of Armenia to recognize – not only Artsakh and Lakhin, but all the territories reclaimed in the war – the Republic of Aghavank (it doesn’t have to be that name – any name will do) as an independent Armenian state. But it has to be done now – before the momentum dies down. The international community wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Or we could just do what the Palestinians have been doing for the past 60 years – wring our hands and procrastinate until the opportunity slips by.

    • Andranik said:

      Agreed, right now is the time to recognize Artsakh, they want war, lets give them war!!! Anyhow, they will start the war sooner or later, why don’t we start and finish the unfinished business once and for all, mark my words, there will be more killings of Armenians abroad.

    • Lusik said:

      Yes, might be.
      1. Rasmussen (NATO’s head) is coming to Armenia. To do what? To scare? To give away $1-2 mln? Or, even worse, to “shut up” everyone just by his presence?
      I think he has to be informed that unless he submits complete report on steps that NATO takes in this ugly case, there is none in Armenia available for any kind of talks.
      2. Here is one possible development how the West (in large) “helps” Turkey and Azerbaijan to “resolve” the Armenian question. In response to Azerbaijan’s provocation, Armenia makes a strong move. Using media, West turns things ugly for Armenia (what is happening in Middle East demonstrates the power of West). Things continue into 2015. Armenia is exhausted. Turkey comes forward as a peace-dove. So, no country is embarrassed with a call to recognize Armenian genocide.
      Now, can we say that Armenian genocide and Recognition of Artsakh are different subjects?

  6. Taparagan said:

    Gam Azerbaijan bidi mena amen ghianke. Yete turs yelle amen degh ashkharoom hayer gan yev vrej khentrogh hayer. Amen hay hima tadavor bedk e tarna . Yerp artarutiyun shi ga amen anz iravunk ooni artarutiyunu iraganatzeneloo.

  7. Kevork said:

    This is an outrage, Armenia should send a commando force to eliminate this criminal terrorist while playing their game and proclaiming “we need peace”, enough of this terrorist country. In the absence of justice due to corruption and terrorism, we need to administer our own justice.

  8. sam said:

    lets do the same to hungarians kill a few solders and then wait for extradition to armenia few years later and as soon as will get to armenia the president will grant a pardon how about that? shame on them they are the sick man of europe after turkie i’m not counting azerbaijan because every one knows where they belong.and i’m sure the corrupt government of hungary got millions of dollars in return for release of a butcher .well one day i’m sure we will return the same favor to them

  9. Tigran said:

    Hungary was just hungry for money, that is all.

    I have no ill-will towards the common Hungarian folk, but their leadership shall regret this decision, this we must ensure. Let this be the day when the world learns of what happens to those who dare cross us. No more defeatist attitude. No more appeasement of others. No more weakness and playing by their rules. To hell with international norms and conventions, it’s obvious we’re the only ones who take them seriously. You can only tease the tiger so much until you unleash its fury.

  10. Tigran said:

    He said that, of course, Safarov going at large is the result of the peaceful policy of Azerbaijan, enhancing respect for Azerbaijan and its standing in the international arena.

    “Azerbaijani people and the state are known worldwide for their love of peace, they treat with respect all peoples, religions and cultures. In world history no cases of Azerbaijan’s violence, injustice against any country have been recorded. Azerbaijan has the right to expect from the other the same treatment and is very glad that Hungary was able to assess all of this,” Ahmedov said.

    I am convinced that these people have a pathological mental problem. Lunatics the lot of them.

  11. Lusik said:

    Dear Serj Sarkisian,

    You did the first step only. They did something really strong and are waiting from you a move of the same kind. Do something extremely important, but different. We need to use their mistake in full. The positive momentum is on your side.

    If I were you, I would recognize Artsakh. You say, this is what they expect to start the war? There will be no war in South Caucasus. For very-very long time.

    Our strongest argument is that there is no decent future for Armenians under rule of Azeris. History has given plenty of proofs. Now we have another, this time internationally visible proof that even life itself is in danger. Any coward is encouraged to kill in the dark with a promise to be honored and welcomed as a national hero of Azeris.

    Otherwise, if you stop after this step, another more horrific action might follow. And in that unfortunate case you will have no chance to do or to say anything. Really, we have to do a move that is compatible in strength, but of higher IMPORTANCE.

  12. said:

    If you thought that Turks of today are different. You probably heard of or met one that is not that bad…

    Well, think again! These nomads never change.

    The first place in Baku where Ramil Safarov went to after he was released by Sultan Aliyev… He brought flowers to the Shahids’ Alley where the murderers of Armenians during Baku pogroms of 1990s are buried.

    And the second place? The memorial to Turkish troops who killed 30,000+ Armenians after they took Baku on September 18, 1918.

  13. Zareh said:

    miyayn zenkov gah hayots pergoutyoun

    Justice will prevail. That S.O.B. will not rest for the rest of his life. He knows another Soghomon Tehlirian will get him in the streets of Baku. His family will know he was safer in the Hungarian prison than in the street of Baku.
    War is inevitable. This time all the way to Kantsag and the Georgian border and Nakhitchevan.
    The pipelines will be the first target.

  14. Ararat said:

    We should do to this racist, cold-blooded and psychopathic murderer what the Americans did to Bin Laden but not kill him. We should capture him and take him to Artsakh and torture him using the outmost brutal and barbaric methods suitable to these Azerbaijani kafir murderers.

    When we are done torturing him we should cut his tongue off and make him bow down and kiss the flag of liberated Artsakh and pi$$ on his fake Azerbaijani flag.

    Then we should take an axe and decapitate his head from his neck and saw off his arms and legs. We then gift-wrap his decapitated arms and legs with a red bow and send them to his mother as a present for Ramadan. We send his decapitated severed head to Aliyev with a note that reads: You are next!

  15. ST. ECHMIADZIN said:

    Our president did the right thing, no more diplomatic relations with money hungry Hungry. Hungry as a host country for NATO classes faild to ensure the security of the Armenian officer and now second blow to us.

  16. ST. ECHMIADZIN said:

    Our president did the right thing, no more diplomatic relations with money hungry Hungry. Hungry as a host country for NATO classes faild to ensure the security of the Armenian officer and now second blow to us.

  17. ST. ECHMIADZIN said:

    Our president did the right thing, no more diplomatic relations with money hungry Hungry. Hungry as a host country for NATO classes faild to ensure the security of the Armenian officer and now second blow to us.

  18. ST. ECHMIADZIN said:

    Hungry sold itself for two billion dollars. Imagine what would they do for 8 or 10 billion dollars.
    Shame on Hungry , an ( European ) country .

  19. Masis said:

    This action by Aliyev proves that we should have no negotiations with Azerbaijan. They are cheats and about as honorable as drug dealers, child molesters, and hookers. I agree we should recognize Artsakh and not give them a single ounce of dirt. If they want it, they need to come and fight for it. If they fight we will destroy them again. At that time, we should assassinate Aliyev.

    As far as this vermin goes, we should send secret commandos to Baku, kidnap this bastard, bring him to Armenia, videotape how we kill him and finally send the video and his body severed in pieces to Aliyev as a gift, asking him to pardon the murder.

  20. Satenik said:

    This article should find its way in every European newspaper. Let them read about the barbaric steps/actions that Azeris will take against the Armenians, even when they are in a neutral country. Can anyone imagine say if it happened to an American soldier and his/her killer was free to go back to his/her country, not to serve a prison sentence but be welcome as a hero by their president ? Name and shame this rogue state called Azerbaijan,. Give Baku back to Iran!



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  23. TigranMedzzz said:

    Armenia has rightly suspended all its diplomatic relations with Hungary.

    But will Serj Sarkisyan continue the “peace negotiations” with Azerbaijan after this?

    Is that even possible?

  24. Avetis said:

    What happened was typical Western/NATO style provocation followed up by typical Turkic behavior. Armenia reserves the right to have the rabid animal in question killed. I hope Russia’s special services can provide Yerevan with some assistance with that regard.

    Nevertheless, this was a great opportunity to again show our Hollywood-struck peasantry in Armenia and in the diaspora the true face of not only Turkic peoples but that of the political West as well. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking this is an isolated incident involving only Hungary. The British did something very similar with the Lockerbie bomber couple of years ago.

    The point being, Western leaders are of the type that would sell their mothers and daughters into prostitution to make a quick profit. The Western world today is totally devoid of culture, morality, nationality, family and God. Western Globalism has turned westerners into animals.

    Western leaning idiots in Yerevan need to come to the realization that Armenia’s future lies with Russia. Closer and deeper cooperation with the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran is Armenia’s only way forward in the Caucasus. Anyone that does not agree with this is either an agent of the West or an idiot.

    Therefore, official Yerevan needs to –

    Shut down any NGO in Armenia that is operating with funds being brought from European or American sources.
    Shut down any “news” organization that is not homegrown and funded by domestic sources.
    Stop using English as the second language in the republic (Armenian youth would be better off learning Russian, German, French… and why not Persian, Chinese and Hindi).
    Cut ties with Brussels and NATO (they are falling apart away).
    Cut ties with Globalist institutions such as the IMF and USAID (they pose an immense danger to the healthy and well being of developing nations).
    Finally, cut ties with Washington (has been and will always be an anti-Armenian vipers nest)…

  25. Krikor said:


  26. Albert said:

    These are the types of savages that Armenia faces and the morons in the United Nations allowed Azerbaijan to bribe their way to a seat in the UN security council. Azerbajian is bribing every politician it can. It is obvious that the Hungarians got big bribes also.
    If the Armenian oligarchs are true patriots, they should donate money to the Armenian government to purchase better tanks and weapons systems. These Azeris are psychos and the Armenian military needs to have better equipment because the Azeris are buying alot of Israeli weapons systems like the Spyder surface to air missle and drones.