Let the innocent one among you be the first to throw a stone at

by Narmin Noqte

On the 31st of August, a train and a bus collided in Baku. There were dozens of dead and wounded. Everyone was shocked. But the real shock was when all news portals and social networks were waggling after the release of another piece of news an hour later – “Ramil Safarov was extradited.” Was this news solace for the relatives of the people who died in the terrible accident or not?

Without knowing the event, especially without living through the same, it’s impossible to understand what he or she feels. I, as an ordinary person, have no information how he felt at the moment of slaughter and after it. I don’t want to connect the subject to patriotic heroism like the “patriot” howls call for. For me, calling a crime heroism without any war is shame.

From my position of a journalist, there is the fact of a crime, serving a sentence, there is extradition to the country, visiting or rendering homage in front of Haydar Aliyev’s monument, receiving the rank of Major, presidential elections in 2013 and the need to create “a hero of our time” because of being in the position of the loser; there is the threat of a 10-year extension of the Karabakh conflict. On the other side, I see his father’s eyes filled with tears, kissing his son’s neck and happy to see his son freed without any patriotic howls – only as a father.

When I heard about this the event, I remembered the opinions of young people from Armenia about the war: “It’s a simple situation; in any case, don’t expect war from us; we’re expecting the danger of war from your side.”

I twitted this sentence as an ordinary citizen who has her own opinion about war:

Narmin Noqte:

“I would like to return to the village where I lived once.  But if my dream will be realized at the expense of the slaughter of someone’s child, I draw a line through my wishes.”

Concerning the issue of Ramil Safarov’s heroism I said:

Narmin Noqte:

“It should be understood that each sheep is hanging by its own foot. As the murder of someone doesn’t make you guilty, so, it can’t give the image of a hero to the nation.”

Now, I want to share the most interesting opinions on this issue that I encountered on social networks:

Turan Yusifova – young activist, August 31:

“Maybe, Ramil was in freedom being in prison and when he came back to the country, the places of freedom and prison changed.

Khadija Ismail – journalist:

“They made the hero bow to the statue. Congrats with your new Hero!”

Ruslan Asad – citizen, September 2:

Ramil Safarov is the new page in our history. Is it positive or negative? We need to discuss it. As a nation we need to discuss ourselves. Foreigners and the international community are so unerring. When Armenians killed Azerbaijanis in the 90’s, none of them reacted. And who gave such responsibility to them to worry about this event. But we need to discuss ourselves. Who is a hero – the man killing another one while he is sleeping or the soldier who kills an enemy at war? The man who mounts the flag, fighting against injustice, reaching the honest aim honestly? We must discuss and draw from all of these.”

Seymur Kazimov – journalist, September 2:

“Ramil was released. He returned, received the rank of Major, 45 thousand AZN, three-room apartment with all kinds of accommodations. Just relax! Let’s talk a little bit about our Paralympics participants. Ok?”

Seymur was right. During this period, our sportsmen won a gold medal. They were real heroes of our time. Despite their physical disabilities. No one talked or wrote about them.

Rashad Aliyev – social media expert, September 5:

“The situation is really difficult. Increased skirmishes between Azerbaijanis and Armenians abroad, and phrases between Azerbaijanis and Armenians have increased. Hope and believe that this situation won’t end with violent clashes.”

Emin Efendi – producer:

“I’ve never imagined writing a post on the RS issue. This issue for me personally is a little more important than the victory of the football team “Neftchi” and a little less important than the victory of our sportsmen in the Olympic games. But the position of our opposition towards the case shifted the issue of Ramil Safarov for me from second to first place. Let us put everything aside. Even if it was not right legally or politically to free Ramil Safarov. Even if it was not necessary to kill an Armenian in his sleep (as if in Khojali the enemies were massacring during working hours between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.. And no court proved that the Armenian was asleep). Even if you see the current government of Azerbaijan much worse than Armenians. But tell me this, how can you not see the clear truth? Ilham Aliyev’s move isn’t political or legal. And it’s clear that he is going to get much headache for this decision. Because this decision is a manly decision. You [NZ: referring to the opposition] have opposed neither the political direction, nor the corruption or the dictatorship at the moment. You have opposed the manly decision. (i.e. machismo)

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