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      The murder of Armenian officer

The murder of Armenian officer   23/02/2004

PRESS RELEASE
REF: PR/04/02/004
 
The murder of the Armenian officer by the azeri officer– déjà vu

Brussels, February 23rd, 2004 - The Assembly of Armenians of Europe
(AAE) strongly condemns the murder of Lt. Gurgen Markarian the young
Armenian officer (26 years old) murdered in cold blood while sleeping in
his bed by an Azerbaijani officer in Budapest, Hungary. This terrifying
crime perpetrated during a NATO’s Partnership for Peace Training
Program, reveals the exaggerated anti-Armenian hysteria incited by Baku
in order to conceal its total inability to seek a political resolution
of the conflict. 
 
The AAE is outraged by the fact that the Armenian officer was murdered
with such "unusual cruelty", as stated by Valter Fulop, Budapest Police
Major in his interview with the Associated Press: “We say unusual
cruelty because beside a number of knife wounds on his chest, the
victim’s head was practically severed from his body”. The attempt of the
Azeri officer Lt. Ramil Safarov (27 years old) on the life of a second
officer of the Armenian Armed Forces was blocked.

The horrifying act and the way the crime was executed strangely reminds
the “permitted anti-Armenian pogroms” in the Azeri industrial city of
Sumgayit. (New York Times 3/1/88), in Azeri city of Kirovabad in 1988
(Toronto Star 3/11/88) and in Baku in 1990 much before the
Nagorno-Karabakh War started (see attached photo No 4 & text No1, 2, 3).

This ghastly tradition of cutting the heads of their victims largely was
used by the Turkish military forces (closest ally of Azerbaijan) while
stifling the Kurdish rebellion in 1990s, as reported “The European” in
its issue of  January 11-17, 1995 (see attached photos No 1, 2). In
fact, this tradition goes back to 1915, when Turkish military personnel
proudly used to take pictures while standing with the severed heads of
the Armenians they had murdered (see attached photo No 3). 

The argument of the Azeri ministry of foreign affairs, that the
suspected Azeri officer was a refugee from a region actually under the
control of Karabakh forces and he was probably moved by the desire of
revenge, cannot explain the cruelty of the committed crime – with ax and
knife and in the night, when the officer was asleep; it cannot justify
the fact that an official representative of Azerbaijan could commit such
a crime and especially during a training course organized by NATO, the
most powerful military organization in the world; it cannot explain how
psychologically unbalanced persons are recruited as officers in the
Azeri army. 

At the very time when the Armenian State and the Armenian nation in
Diaspora join their efforts to find a peaceful resolution of the
conflict by being more flexible and compliant, while the international
community tries to give maximum satisfaction to the Azeri side, the
barbaric and cowardly act of the Azeri officer is another bloody proof
that Armenians could never live under Azerbaijani rule and feel safe.
Even the protection of the powerful international military organization
could not impede the murder of an Armenian officer, as it was the case
of Budapest.


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