Movsesian on “Ax Murderers, Values, and International Law”
At a NATO conference in Hungary in 2004, an Azeri officer, Ramil Safarov, murdered one of the other participants, an Armenian officer named Gurgen Margaryan. Actually, that doesn’t quite capture it. Safarov broke into Margaryan’s room, stabbed him while he was sleeping, then severed his neck with an ax. Safarov confessed to the crime; Hungary convicted him of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Two weeks ago, Hungary extradited Safarov to Azerbaijan, which promptly pardoned him, promoted him, restored his back pay for his years in the Hungarian prison, and generally gave him a hero’s welcome.
He then asks “How can one begin to make sense of this incredible episode?” His answer touches on the tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh, conflicting interpretations of the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, and Hungary’s foreign policy.
I had not known about this surprising incident before hearing about it from Mark. His post is well worth the read.