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Sumgait pogrom, slain Armenian officer commemorated in London

Sumgait pogrom, slain Armenian officer commemorated in London

PanARMENIAN.Net - About 50 people gathered at Trafalgar Square in London on Sunday, Feb 23, to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Sumgait pogrom and the 10th anniversary of the murder of Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan.

The event was organized by Armenian Youth Federation and University College London - Armenian Society, Russell Pollard, an English photojournalist, writer and founder of Artsakh.org.uk website told PanARMENIAN.Net

Lieutenant of the Armenian Armed Forces Gurgen Margaryan, 26, was hacked to death, while asleep, by a fellow Azerbaijani participant, lieutenant Ramil Safarov, in Budapest during a three-month English language course in the framework of NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace program.

On April 13, 2006, Budapest District Court sentenced Safarov to life in prison for murdering Margaryan. On February 22, 2007, Budapest Court rejected the Azerbaijani military officer's appeal against the verdict, precluding possibility of pardon for the initial 30 years.

In August, 2012, Safarov was inexplicably extradited back to Azerbaijan, where he was given a hero's welcome by President Ilham Aliyev, in addition to financial compensation and a promotion in military rank.

“Trafalgar Square is a very popular place on a Sunday - leaflets were handed out to people passing by - on Sumgait, and the murder of Lt Margaryan. Event held last year as well for the 25th anniversary of Sumgait,” Mr. Pollard said.

Organized anti-Armenian violence - aimed at killing and driving Armenians from their homes - began on the evening of February 27, 1988 in Sumgait, Azerbaijan, and within hours, turned into a series of well-documented pogroms during which Sumgait’s Christian Armenian residents were indiscriminately murdered, raped, and maimed by Azerbaijani rioters.

Photo: Russell Pollard/Artsakh.org.uk
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