Azerbaijan: pardoning and glorification of Ramil Safarov

Elmar Brok MEP, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, has criticised the decision by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to pardon Ramil Safarov, who has confessed to the murder of an Armenian soldier in Hungary in 2004.

Mr Brok commented: „I am deeply concerned about the decision to pardon Ramil Safarov upon arrival in Baku, to publicly glorify him, promote him to Major rank, pay him 8 years of salary and offer him an apartment. Azerbaijan had given a written promise to the Hungarian authorities that Mr Safarov would continue to serve his life sentence for at least 25 years when he arrives in Azerbaijan. Now Azerbaijan has broken this promise.

Safarov is an Azerbaijani soldier who murdered the Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan at their NATO training camp in Budapest in 2004. With the decision to set him free, Azerbaijan is circumventing the valid conviction of the court of an EU Member State and is presenting a murderer as a role model to cheering children in Baku.“

For further information:
Elmar BROK MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845323
Lasse Böhm, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-484-656897