The concern that Ramil Safarov’s “heroism” can become a “good” action for being repeated

by Anna Poghosyan

The early morning call from my grandmother woke all family members up and dropped them into a strange concern – strange from the first point of view but later on, much more meaningful. Calling on the telephone, my grandmother was repeating that she wants to talk preferably with my father who should prohibit me to participate in any international projects where I can meet participants from Azerbaijan.  All her statements were related to the case of the murder of the Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan  by  an Azerbaijani military officer Ramil Safarov in 2004 while they were attending a NATO training course in Budapest. After understanding the real fears of my relatives, I tried to calm down my  family members saying that a lot of crime and injustice happened all over the world, and it should not necessarily happen with me.

A long period has passed since 2004, and I’ve never thought that this case can be projected on my participation in international projects and conferences; in addition, I would never expect that the person who would raise this kind of concern would be my grandmother who is so far from politics, conflicts, and international relations. The reasons of her such worry were my active participation in different international projects and the news about Ramil Safarov’s extradition and pardon him by giving the title of a “hero” in his home country, Azerbaijan.

By telling my grandmother what she wanted to hear from me, I changed the main topic of our conversation bringing our conversation to more positive topics.

After rethinking that conversation, I caught myself on the idea that my grandmother’s concern is so reasonable and understandable; it’s not only her concern or the concern of my relatives; it is the concern of many parents. It is the concern that the case of Safarov’s extradition and pardon, and giving him the title of not only a “free man,” but also the title of a “hero” can raise in Azerbaijan a generation that will have their own “hero” in their mind; it wouldn’t be a “hero” who died in the war protecting his motherland and family, but a person who killed a sleeping man, considering him an enemy only because of his national identity.

Another concern is that this act can change the temporary peace and the fragile negotiations; in which case the constant statements  of the OSCE Minsk Group members and negotiating sides proving that the conflict should be solved only in a peaceful way seem unbelievable.

The extradition and pardoning of Safarov does not only lead to the increasing of existing tension in the conflict resolution process, but also negatively affects the activity of peace-builders. Peace-builders are trying to create a constructive dialogue to exclude the possibilities of war and violence, but this act eliminates the achievements of years of confidence and peace building.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>