Paul Krekorian Decries Safarov Extradition in Letter to Hungarian Consul

LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian on Wednesday sent a letter to László Kálmán, Hunngary’s Consul General to Los Angeles decrying the latter’s government for extraditing Ramil Safarov to Baku.

Safarov, who was serving a life sentence in Budapest for the killing an Armenian soldier Gurgen Markarian with an axe in 2004, was pardoned upon arriving in Baku by Azeri president Ilham Aliyev last week. He was also promoted to a rank of general in the army.

Below is the text of Krekorian letter, which was also copied to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, members of the LA City Council and Armenia’s Consul General to Los Angeles, Grigor Hovannesian.

Dear Mr. Kálmán:

I join the Armenian-American community of Los Angeles in expressing my shock and anger over the Azerbaijani government’s outrageous pardon of Ramil Safarov – a convicted murderer who was found guilty in a Hungarian court of savagely killing an Armenian lieutenant, Gurgen Markarian, with an ax as the victim slept. Moreover, I am bewildered by the Hungarian government’s inexplicable decision to allow these circumstances to take place by extraditing this murderer to his home country, especially since his home country has a long and demonstrated policy of supporting hatred and violence toward Armenians.

By pardoning Safarov, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev has once more demonstrated to the world his devotion to intolerance, hate and division, not peace and understanding. By providing Safarov a hero’s welcome in Baku, and promoting his military rank, Mr. Aliyev and his government have sent a clear and despicable message to the country’s population and to the international community: in Azerbaijan, the murder of Armenians is not only tolerated, it is encouraged, celebrated and rewarded.

As the first Armenian-American elected official in the history of the City of Los Angeles, and as the descendant of Armenian immigrants who fled genocide, I am repulsed by the actions of the Azerbaijani government and I am stunned by Hungary’s role in facilitating them. On behalf of the Armenian-American community of Los Angeles, and all Angelenos who care about justice, I therefore call on the Hungarian government to provide a full explanation of its decision to release this murderer to a regime that continues to demonstrate pride in its own inhumanity. I invite you to contact me directly at (213) 473-7002 so that we can meet in person to discuss your government’s actions in this case.

The Hungarian people have a long and proud history of standing courageously for freedom and justice, and sadly, they have too often suffered the tragic and violent consequences of intolerance, oppression and tyranny. I certainly would have hoped that that history would guide your government’s actions with regard to the extradition of a barbaric murderer, convicted of a vicious hate crime, to a nation as bellicose as Azerbaijan. I hope that in the aftermath of these circumstances your government will stand firm in your commitment to human rights and justice, and that you will clearly condemn Azerbaijan’s horrific actions in freeing and lionizing this savage murderer.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Very truly yours,
Councilmember, 2nd District


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  1. Nubar said:

    Yes, we should definitely hold The government and the officials of Hungary responsible for their Shortsighedness not to call it stupidity for releasing the Axe murderer, but we should definitely refrain ourselves to hold the Hungarian people responsible. They are just as upset as the whole Armenian Nation is. The demonarations in Budapest is the very proof of that. They are also ashamed of what their Government did. So please please absolutely NO BURNING OF THE HUNGARIAN FLAG. That will be considered an attack on their Nationalty. The Hungarian people are our friends and we want to keep it that way. They have not proved yet otherwise.We don’t want to add enemies against us. I can see that the officials who decided to act the way they did, will not be voted in again.

    These are my personal views.

    What’s yours.


  2. zograp said:

    turks mongol are only one people who can massacre babies in their mothers stomach and who can betray and backstab every one who once trusted them even in their most miserable times! .turks mongol also played a BIG ROLE in HITLER’s ARMY while massacring the JEWISH people turks mongol.are known worldwide by their enormeous killer and rubber habits.TRADITION! SO F.

  3. RedWhiteGreen said:

    Mr. Krekorian’s letter would have been better adressed to the Azeri authorities, as it was their decision to pardon the murderer. His transfer from Hungary was based on legal precedents and procedures, to a country which is the member of the UN Security Council. The only partner the Hungarian government needs to provide explanation, should they require, are the Hungarian citizens, especially if the request comes from a citizen of a country that has invaded other counties on false evidences, and is continuously engaged in keeping prisoners without any legal aid and fair trial under inhumane conditions in Guantanamo. Instead of demanding explanation from a sovereign government, Mr. Krekorian would better spend his time and efforts to persuade the US government to acknowledge the mass-murder of Armenians as genocide, which government seems to follow its financial and poitical interest over moral guidances. Now if all this is or a previous transfer of an Armenian terrorist from France bombing the Turkish airline booth was not a problem for my Mr. Krekorian, who seems to have become rather agitated to jump into action over the legal transfer of a single person, then one should suspect a serious problem with his integrity and honesty,

  4. Vahan Vanagan said:

    What would be the Reaction, if:

    What would be the world reaction, if, for ex. an official Iranian delegate, to revenge the Palestinians kills an Israeli official member during the UN meeting, for example in Switzerland, and if the Swiss authorities accepts the extradition of the criminal to his country according to the Internationally accepted convention, knowing that this country is preparing to destroy the victim’s country. In such a case Switzerland would be condemned for such an extradition, and would be requested to request the re-extradition of the criminal back to Switzerland, back to the original prison.

    If Hungary does not request the re-extradition of the criminal, then the Armenian Authorities should request the International Penal Tribunal in The Hague the re-extradition of the criminal for the completion of the penalty in original prison.

    To hand over the criminal to his criminal brother is Big Crime. Hungary is in this classification for this case.
    Hungary, as civilized country should cure her un-equivalent mistake.
    Vahan Vanagan

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