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YEREVAN. – A monument to Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian officer slain by Ramil Safarov, opened in the Armenian capital on Saturday (photo).

The opening of a monument coincided with the birthday of the Armenian officer who would have turned 35 on September 26. Margaryan’s mother and Baroness Caroline Cox opened the monument.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Defense Ministry, students of school bearing Gurgen Margaryan’s name, public figures and representatives of the diplomatic missions

In her address, Baroness Cox said she, being a mother, shares the feelings of the Margaryan family.

Baroness said she was shocked by the reports about a murder of a sleeping man and when Ramil Safarov was pardoned in Azerbaijan.

As reported earlier, Ramil Safarov, a then-lieutenant in the Azerbaijani military, was extradited on August 31, 2012 from Hungary, where he was serving a life sentence—and with no expression of either regret or remorse—for the premeditated axe murder of Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, in his sleep, during a NATO Partnership for Peace program in Budapest back in 2004. Safarov had planned on killing the other Armenian military serviceman, who likewise was attending the aforesaid program, but he was unable to carry out this plan.

Ramil Safarov’s return to Baku was welcomed, as was his act of murder, by the officials of president Ilham Aliyev’s government and much of Azerbaijani society, and the Azerbaijani president immediately granted him a pardon, he was declared a national hero, promoted to a higher military rank, and was allocated housing and pension.

And Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan announced on August 31, 2012 that Armenia is suspending its diplomatic ties with Hungary. Also, Sargsyan instructed the Ministry of Justice to take all measures to petition to the international judicial tribunals, and with respect to the Safarov case.    

Ramil Safarov’s pardoning was condemned by virtually all international organizations.    

 The Armenian party had applied to ECtHR in February, in connection with the Ramil Safarov case. The complaint is with respect to Articles 2 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Armenian and foreign specialists are included in the working group that is preparing the complaint.  

Photo by Arsen Sargsyan/

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