Politics 18:46 19/02/2014

Larisa Alaverdyan: Brutal Murder of Gurgen Margaryan should be observed in context of xenophobia carried out by Azerbaijan

10 years passed but the murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan by Azerbaijani Ramil Safarov has not received an adequate international assessment yet. Larisa Alaverdyan, first Ombudsman of Armenia, Chairperson of “Against legal arbitrariness” NGO, said about this in an interview with Panorama.am.

“I believe that the relevant institutions of the Republic of Armenia should prepare a package of case related documents and appeal to International organizations: EU, Council of Europe, and UN. This issue should receive an adequate international assessment, because it is not only about the murder of Armenian officer but a politics of xenophobia, including against Armenians, carried out by Azerbaijan,” she said.

According to the first Ombudsman, after Safarov was pardoned the Armenian side should have immediately sued Azerbaijan.

Alaverdyan strongly believes that Ramil Safarov fulfilled an order of his state that is why he afterwards got rewarded.

According to her, the absence of adequate international assessment has brought to the situation when Azerbaijan doesn’t at all feel vulnerable around the negotiation table over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement, whereas after the murderer was pardoned many forums should have become inaccessible to Azerbaijan, she said.

“The Murder of Gurgen Margaryan should be observed in context of politics of xenophobia. International community should realize that in case of impunity the axe may rise against the national minorities of Azerbaijan. This is a threat not only to the Armenians but also to the security of the region as a whole,” she added.
In 2004, Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan was taking part in a three-month English course of NATO “Partnership for Peace” in Budapest. Early in the morning of February 19 he was murdered. The murderer – Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov - delivered 16 blows of ax to the face of the sleeping Armenian officer. As a result, the Hungarian court found him sane and sentenced him to life imprisonment without a right of pardon for 30 years. The news about the extradition of Ramil Safarov to his homeland and pardon by the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev broke out on August 31.

The pardoned murderer Ramil Safarov was greeted as a hero in Azerbaijan; he was given an apartment and was paid an officer salary for 8 years spent in detention. Moreover, Safarov was breveted Major by the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan, who also wished him "every success."

Because of Safarov’s extradition to Azerbaijan the president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan announced the suspension of diplomatic relations with Hungary. Safarov’s extradition, pardon, and glorification in Azerbaijan was condemned by the US president Barack Obama, US State Department, Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Russia and France, Secretary General of Council of Europe, Secretary General of CSTO, NATO, and international human rights organizations. In addition to that, European Parliament adopted a condemning resolution on September 13, 2012.

Today, on February 19, is the 10th anniversary of commemoration of Armenian officer’s death. To the 10th anniversary of Gurgen Margaryan’s murder in the frameworks of the "Ordinary Genocide" project a video-footage has been prepared called "Azerbaijan: Racism without borders." The video footage is in English and Russian. It concisely presents the history of the murder that had stunned the world, as well as the programs following the incident and Safarov’s glorification in Azerbaijan.It is significant that the authors chose Symphony number 7 ("Leningrad") by Dmitri Shostakovich known as "the invasion of the Nazis" as a soundtrack for the footage.

The "Ordinary Genocide" project is being implemented by the Information and Public Relations Center under the RA President’s administration.

Source Panorama.am
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