YEREVAN, STEPANAKERT—Memorial events were held in Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on Wednesday to honor Armenian Army officer Gurgen Markarian who was brutally murdered by Azeri axe-murderer Ramil Safarov while in Budapest in 2004.
Markarian, who would have turned 34 Wednesday, was honored at a special ceremony at Yerablur National Cemetery in Yerevan after a march organized to the final resting olace for fallen Armenian soldiers organized by Yerevan State University’s ‘Union of Young Students’ NGO, Yerkrapah Volunteer Union and Gurgen Margaryan NGO
“Every Armenian should realize that he could be in the place of Gurgen Margaryan and become the victim of Azerbaijan’s state policy,” Gevorg Melkonyan, head of the ‘Union of Young Students’ NGO, said in his remarks to participants.
“I express my condemnation of the Hungarian-Azerbaijani deal of Safarov’s extradition and announce on behalf of the Armenian youth that we stand by our state and army.”
Safarov, who was convicted of and was serving a life sentence for the brutal hacking of Markarian, was extradited by Hungary to Azerbaijan where he was immediately pardoned and turned into a national hero.
At the end of the march, participants laid flowers at the graves of Vazgen Sargsyan, General Antranig and Gurgen Markarian.
More than 3,000 marched in the streets of Stepanakert, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, to mark the slain soldier’s birthday and protest the injustice in Safarov’s extradition.