Thousands Protest Safarov Release at Hungarian Parliament

Thousands of Hungarians protested Safarov release in front of the Hungarian parliament on Tuesday

From The Armenian Weekly

BUDAPEST, Hungary—Thousands of Hungarians gathered in front of the parliament building in Budapest, expressing outrage at their government’s decision to extradite axe-murderer Safarov to his home country Azerbaijan, where he received a hero’s welcome, was pardoned, and promoted.

In 2004, Safarov murdered Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian lieutenant, with an axe, while the latter was asleep. He was sentenced to life in prison.

“The honor of Hungarians is not for sale” read one banner. Another, in Hungarian, read “This is not our shame!” A third read, “We are sorry, Armenia!” and was also one of the main chants at the demonstration.

“Murderers should not be extradited to countries where it is clear that ethnic hate crimes are considered heroism,” protester Laszlo Muhari told Reuters. “In a democratic country this is not acceptable.”

Muhari added, “[Prime Minister Viktor] Orban should stop lying and start giving clear answers, because it is simply impossible that such a brutal killer is just released without a background deal.”

‘Stupid, unethical, uncivilized, illegal’

Thousands of Hungarians continued joining Facebook groups apologizing for their government’s action. One such group, called “Sorry, Armenia,” had more than 11,300 followers as of Sept. 4.

In comments provided to Armenian Weekly editor Khatchig Mouradian, Krulf, the founder of the group, said, “We have nothing to do with either Armenian or Azeri affairs. This is about the Hungarian government’s stupid, unethical, un-European, uncivilized, internationally illegal, deplorable action, for which we, as some of the thinking and civilized citizens of this country, wish to apologize.”

“As human beings, we wish to express that this was not done with our agreement, on our behalf or in our name. We distance ourselves from this government,” added Krulf, who uses a cyber-name fearing government reprisal.

“It is our internal problem which, however, touches on other nations and international affairs and concerns, by all accounts, not only the people of Armenia, but people in many countries. It has caused a huge international uproar and consternation by many, including the President of the United States. So we will apologize, we are apologizing,” he concluded.

For more details on the reaction of thousands of Hungarians outraged by their government’s action, read our report here.

Demonstrations worldwide

Meanwhile, Armenians and others condemning the extradition took part in demonstrations and gatherings across the world.

In Calcutta, India, members of the Armenian community gathered in front of the Hungarian consulate on Sept. 3 carrying signs that read, “Shame on you, Hungary” and demanding an apology from the Hungarian government.

On the same day, Armenians gathered in front of the Hungarian embassy in Oslo, Norway for a similar demonstration.

Dozens of demonstrations are scheduled worldwide for later this week. On Sept. 5, a demonstration will be held in front of the Hungarian embassy in Cyprus. On Sept. 6, a large demonstration will take place in front of the Azerbaijani and Hungarian consulates in Los Angeles.

The author would like to thank Zsuzsanna Guba for her help with translations from Hungarian.

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. ohannes said:

    When Armenians going to grow up when Armenians going to wake up from dreaming the west never love or like as the Armenians in the history not in the past not today not in the future
    the only thing for the west is oil you have oil they kiss your bath you don’t have oil you kiss they
    bath this is the reality for the west past 95 years weak up Armenian’s we have nothing to offer for the west no money no honey no oil no honey get lost you are nothing you have oil let me kiss your bath this is the reality just weak up Armenians Azerbaijani has oil we have nothing and nothing

  2. hrair said:

    thank’s to the hungarian democratic, just and civilized people your strong protest against the release of an ax murderer by your corrupt government ,it is completely revolting that this murderer is received as a hero in azerbaijan, totally sick.the civilized should strongly respond to this farce so called justice.

  3. Ara said:

    If Hungary did not extradite Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan for the 3 Billion Euro Hungarian bond investment from Azerbaijan then it should have cut all its diplomatic relationships with Azerbaijan by now.
    The Hungarian Sorry is not acceptable. They should act by cutting diplomatic relationship with Azerbaijan and recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh as they recognized Kosovo before. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh also have the right of self determination. No double standards please.

  4. George said:

    A lawsuit against NATO should be placed, requesting compensation, futhermore NO soldier should colaborate with NATO until Intn’l comunity takes the necessary steps to correct this disgrace.

    • said:

      A lawsuit? Are you kidding me? We just got a clear lesson on what their justice system is really about. Dirty oil manats! And you still believe in their fairy tales?

      Armenian soldiers are currently in Afghanistan serving under NATO command while Kabul is controlled by Turkish troops. Any Turkish soldier (and Safarov spent his youth in Turkey where he was also trained as an axe killer) could become a Turkish national hero by following the steps of Maj. S…

  5. Arziv said:

    It is simply baffling and asinine to realize at this late hour that no one started an indictment against Nato for the heinous murder of the Armenian officer when it happenend in 2004. It is beyond belief. All quiet on the western front. There is sufficient legislation and statutes in the EU to have confined the murderer Azeri away for life.Let’s not blame other parties for our own supreme indifference in exacting justice for the murdered officer. We did nothing on the diplomatic front, nor did we pursue developments the way we should have. It was an open case that Azerbaijan was applying relentless pressure on the Hungarian government to release and extradite the assasin. We should have redoubled our efforts on the diplomatic front to offset such entreaties. There is little we can do now. The murderer has bolted. As for the other governments, don’t hold your breath. Disappointment , regrets, platitudinal lamentations, and shedding crocodile tears are common currency in diplomatic parlance. They are simply brief sentences to palliate the pain and recoil from any responsibility.

  6. Hairo said:

    How can someone with even a bird’s brain call Ramil Safarov a hero? Let’s put our emotions aside and approach this situation logically.
    2 students (soldiers) attend a workshop. 1 soldier Axe murders another soldier while the latter is asleep. Only a coward kills someone while the other is asleep. I bet you anything, had Gurgen Margaryan been awake Safarove would not have dared to approach Markaryan. That is why he killed while Gurgen was asleep.
    It takes one to know one Mr. President of Azerbaijan.

  7. Peter said:

    I am glad that there are many honorable Hungarians out there. They suffered under Ottoman Turkish rule also. This prime minister may have some Turkish blood in him. There was a famous Hungarian cannon builder named Orban who built one of the biggest cannons for the Ottoman Turks which destroyed the walls of Constantinople allowing the Turks to occupy and turn it into Istambul. I bet that Prime Minister Orban is distant cousin of Orban the canon builder that destroyed the Byzantine empire.
    Gábor Ágoston: Guns for the Sultan: Military Power and the Weapons Industry in the Ottoman Empire, Cambridge University Press, 2005