Remembering Gurgen Margaryan: 16 years after the brutal murder

Armenian Officer Gurgen Margaryan was murdered in Hungary on this day sixteen years ago.

On 19th February 2004, with an axe in hand, the then-Azerbaijani army captain brutally delivered 16 blows to the sleeping body of Armenian Army Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, when both officers were attending a NATO Partnership for Peace program in Hungary.

On 13th April 2006, a Hungarian court sentenced him to life in prison without the right of appeal for 30 years.

On 31st August 2012, after serving a mere eight years of his life sentence, a deal between Azerbaijan and Hungary saw Safarov extradited to Azerbaijan, where upon arrival he was greeted by President Ilham Aliyev who had assured the Hungarian Government and the world that Safarov would serve the remainder of his sentence.

But instead, the axe murderer was immediately pardoned and gifted a full military parade, before being promoted to the rank of Major and despicably rewarded an apartment. Ironically, all of this with eight years of back pay.

Following Safarov’s pardon, Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary.

The case brought by the relatives of Gurgen Margaryan is pending in the European Court of Human Rights.

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