Armenia: ECHR ruling raises Azerbaijan's policy of Armenophobia

Armenia: ECHR ruling raises Azerbaijan's policy of Armenophobia

PanARMENIAN.Net - The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is a decision against Azerbaijan's policy of Armenophobia, Armenia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, May 26.

The ECHR ruled that Azerbaijan has failed to enforce prison sentence for an ethnic hate crime in which an Armenian army officer was killed with an axe by an Azerbaijani counterpart in Hungary in 2004.

Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan was murdered in February 2004 by Ramil Safarov, while both men were attending a three-month Nato English-language training course in the Hungarian capital. At Safarov’s subsequent trial, he said he was motivated by hatred for Armenia and Armenians, due to the war between the two countries. He was jailed for life by the Budapest court. However, in 2012 Hungary sent Safarov back to Azerbaijan to complete his sentence. On arrival, he was promptly pardoned, released and given a hero’s welcome.

The court has found violations of the 2nd (right to life) and 14th (non- discrimination) articles of the European Convention on Human rights by Azerbaijan.

It’s noteworthy that the ruling determined that the violation of those articles was interrelated, thus establishing that the impunity and glorification granted by the highest leadership of Azerbaijan to Ramil Safarov, who was convicted in the brutal murder on the grounds of hatred, had a causing link to the ethnicity of the victims.

"The ECHR decision is a ruling against Azerbaijan's policy of Armenophobia. It not only recognizes, but also adjudicates on the inadmissibility of the promotion on the state level of hate crimes committed against the Armenians by Azerbaijan," the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.

"The ruling imposes a legal obligation on Azerbaijan to undertake such actions which will put an end to those violations of the European Convention of Human Rights and redress the effects.

"The Republic of Armenia views this ruling of the ECHR as a demand addressed to the authorities of Azerbaijan to restore justice in the dreadful murder of Gurgen Margaryan and end its racist policy towards Armenians. To this end, the Republic of Armenia will make consistent efforts in the relevant international bodies.

"The release of convicted murderer Ramil Safarov by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan and his glorification is a disrespect and affront to the standard of civilization and human dignity. Today, when those actions received their legal assessment, we more than ever are determined to prevent hate crimes and protect the security of the Armenian people in the region."

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