Armenians commemorate officer hacked to death by Azeri -
High-ranking Armenian military officials led by Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan visited the military cemetery at Yerablur in Yerevan on Wednesday to pay tribute to the memory of army lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan who was hacked to death while asleep by an Azeri 10 years ago today.
Margaryan attended a three-month English language course as part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in Budapest, Hungary, where among students was also lieutenant of the Azerbaijani army Ramil Safarov.
A postmortem concluded that Safarov had delivered 16 blows to sleeping Margaryan’s face, nearly severing his head from his body.
In Armenia that murder was taken as a manifestation of continued genocide as Margaryan was murdered for being an ethnic Armenian.
The Hungarian court sentenced Margaryan’s axe-murderer to life and prohibited his amnesty for at least the first 30 years of his sentence. Safarov, who served his jail term in Budapest, was controversially granted the right of extradition to Baku in late August 2012. Returning to Azerbaijan to a hero’s welcome Safarov was promptly pardoned, promoted and rewarded by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, which elicited an angry reaction in Armenia.
In the wake of what was dubbed the Safarov Affair Armenia suspended its diplomatic ties with Hungary, accusing it of succumbing to Azerbaijan’s pressure for the axe-murderer’s extradition. Protests against Safarov’s extradition and his glorification in Azerbaijan were held in Armenian communities around the world.