April 17
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WASHINGTON. D.C. - U.S. President Obama is deeply concerned by today’s announcement that the President of Azerbaijan has pardoned Ramil Safarov following his return from Hungary, reads the statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Azerbaijan’s Decision to Pardon Ramil Safarov.

“Safarov confessed to the murder of Armenian Army officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest in 2004, and was serving a life sentence in Hungary for this brutal crime.  We are communicating to Azerbaijani authorities our disappointment about the decision to pardon Safarov.  This action is contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation. The United States is also requesting an explanation from Hungary regarding its decision to transfer Safarov to Azerbaijan,” reads the statement.

Safarov, a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani military, was recent extradited from Hungary, where he was serving a life sentence with no expression of either regret or remorse for the pre-meditated axe murder of Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, in his sleep, during a NATO Partnership for Peace program. As expected, Safarov’s return to Baku was welcomed, as was his act of murder, by officials of Ilham Aliyev’s government and much of Azerbaijani society. The Azerbaijani president immediately pardoned him.

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