Hungary Armenians Ask Govt. About Safarov on Anniversary

Armenians protest in front of the Hungarian Embassy in Los Angeles, September 2012

BUDAPEST—The community leadership of Armenians in Hungary has asked Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics in a public letter whether Hungary has turned to any international forum since the repatriation of Azeri officer Ramil Safarov a year ago, reports.

Safarov, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing an Armenian officer in his sleep in Budapest in 2004, was transferred back to his home country on August 31, 2012 under an extradition agreement. Although Azerbaijan formally pledged that the life sentence handed down to him in Hungary would be directly continued when he was returned to his homeland, the Azerbaijani president granted him a pardon and formally recognized him as a “national hero” upon his arrival.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced the same day that Armenia suspended diplomatic relations with Hungary.

Two days later State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Zsolt Nemeth summoned the Azerbaijani ambassador to his office and condemned the Azerbaijani step as unacceptable to Hungary in a diplomatic note.

In a public letter, the Hungarian Armenian community noted that Safarov had committed a premeditated murder for a base reason, calling his brutal act “a continuation of the Armenian genocide”.

“God’s fifth commandment – ‘You shall not murder’ – became weightless in Budapest in August, 2012, when the government favored Azerbaijan because of ‘national interests,’” the letter added.

In an interview with Armenpress, community leader Sevan Sargsyan said about the anniversary, “Nothing has changed. We have just clearly realized that the Hungarian government’s actions had been planned beforehand.”

The Armenian community’s leadership asked in its public letter if Hungary has turned to international forums with a complaint about Azerbaijan’s action and what measures the government is going to take to enforce the law.

But Sevan Sargsyan says the government seems to be content with closing the books on the case.

“They are certain that the deal they made with Azerbaijan was fair and legal. This case is closed for them and they do not intend to apologize to Armenia,” Sargsyan said in his interview.

Sargsyan also remarked that Armenians no longer feel safe in Hungary, feeling betrayed by the government and fearing that their human rights come second to state interests.

Sargsyan noted, though, that the Armenian community continues to press for justice.

“We strive to keep [this issue] alive and do not let anybody forget the awful deed that was committed by the Hungarian government,” Sargsyan said.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.