Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia [on Safarov’s release]
On 31 August, 2012 the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary has announced about its authorisation to transfer Ramil Sahib Safarov, an Azerbaijani national imprisoned in Hungary since 19 February 2004, sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian national, to Azerbaijan.
In adopting such decision, the Ministry referred to the Strasburg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
The transfer of Ramil Sahib Safarov has been executed without delay. Furthermore, President of Azerbaijan has issued a decree granting pardon to Ramil Sahib Safarov, who already enjoys freedom in Azerbaijan.
Ramil Sahib Safarov has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Courts of Hungary for committing an act of murder against Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian national. Both Safarov and Margaryan have been visiting Budapest to participate in a NATO PfP language training course. While the Government of Hungary as the host state, has failed to ensure the security of the Armenian participant at an international event on its territory, its law enforcement institutions and Courts have acted promptly to bring the perpetrator to justice.
The Government of Hungary has been informed on numerous occasions by the authorities of Armenia about the environment of glorification and justification of the murderous act of Ramil Sahib Safarov, cultivated in Azerbaijan at official level, including the level of President of Azerbaijan. The Government of Hungary could not have failed to note the numerous public statements of the Azerbaijani officials at different levels to this effect, which should have been sufficient grounds for the doubt about the continuation of the enforcement of the sentence in Azerbaijan. Therefore, the Government of Hungary should have foreseen the implications of its decision to transfer Ramil Sahib Safarov, which effectively resulted in the termination of serving justice by a perpetrator of a murderous act. The Government of Hungary therefore shares moral responsibility for sponsoring a grave criminal act.
The Government of Hungary, at different levels, including the highest, have consistently and up until the last moment assured the Government of Armenia that it will not take any steps whatsoever, which would result in the termination of serving justice by the perpetrator of a heinous murder and explicitly excluded any option for the execution of the transfer. The manner, in which the Government of Hungary has acted in respect of this matter, is also a cause for a deep regret.
Armenia considers the above decision of the Government of Hungary as an unfriendly act, undermining the good co-operative relations between Armenia and Hungary. Today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary about the decision of the Government of Armenia to suspend diplomatic relations between the two states.