The East of the West

Hungary gets involved in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

The story began in 2004 in Budapest when Azerbaijani national Ramil Sahib Safarov brutally killed his roommate Armenian Gurgen Margaryan with an axe.

Both the murderer and the victim were military students participating in a NATO organized language course in the Hungarian capital.

Safarov was sentenced of life imprisonment in Hungary and he has been in a Hungarian prison until these days when the Hungarian authorities transferred him to his home country in accordance with the „Strasbourg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons”.

Safarov should have continue his sentence in Azerbaijan, but on returning he requested and got a pardon from his country’s president Ilham Aliyev, which provoked an outcry in Armenia.

People on the street set fire Safarov’s photo and protested against Hungary, took the national flag off the Hungarian embassy and burned it.

What is more, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced his country had broken diplomatic relations with Hungary. Speaker of Hovik Abrahamyan has cancelled his visit to Hungary scheduled for September.

There are some that with the transfer Hungary tries to get closer to Azerbaijan calculating with some financial benefits but the Hungarian authorities deny these speculations saying they just acted according to the law.

The USA expressed its concern about the Azerbaijani presidential pardon.
The BBC about the conflict