Ramil Safarov, an infamous 40-year-old Major in the Azerbaijani army, has been promoted to Lieutenant-colonel, JAMnews reports.
News of his promotion went mostly unnoticed among Azerbaijani websites and media. A photo of Safarov donning his new epaulettes was mostly shared on small, low-traffic websites.
Comments in his profile show that the new title was awarded four months ago, but for some reason the news was not published until now.
According to the source, the news of Safarov’s promotion has caused controversial comments among the Azerbaijani Facebook community. Here are some typical comments without naming the authors:
“Congratulations on your new military rank Ramil! Don’t let your punching hand tremble!”
“Ramil Safarov, the pride of Azerbaijan, you deserve this title. May Allah keep [protect] you and our country.”
“We want to see you as the future Minister of Defense.”
“Safarova a General! It’s for the worse. He is extremely influential.”
“I wish we could have him on the front line. Let’s see how brave he is there. I’m a hero too. Killing under the cover of night.”
“I’ll be brief. This is a shame.”
“I can’t condemn Safarov, I wasn’t in his shoes and my relatives weren’t killed. But to make a hero out of him is not worth it. We’re setting the wrong example.”
Safarov was convicted in 2007 of murdering an Armenian fellow participant on a NATO training course in Hungary and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release for 30 years.
After serving eight years of his sentence in Hungary, he was transferred to Azerbaijan under the Convention, which allows the transfer of foreign prisoners to their home countries for primarily humanitarian reasons.
Upon his arrival Safarov was welcomed as a national hero and granted an immediate pardon – long before the expiry of the minimum sentence set by the Hungarian court – and a retroactive promotion as well as other rewards.