Category Archives: Caucasus

Safarov’s Extradition and Heroization

In 2004 in Budapest an Azerbaijani officer, Ramil Safarov, murdered an Armenian lieutenant, Gurgen Margaryan, with an axe, while the latter was sleeping. Same year Safarov was imprisoned in Hungary and given a life sentence. Learn more

8 years later, 2 days ago, according to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons the murderer was extradited from Hungary to Azerbaijan, where he was immediately pardoned by the President and recognized as a hero.


Azerbaijani side does not deny the fact of the slaughter, nor its circumstances, namely that Safarov hacked a SLEEPING person and during PEACEFUL times. Yes, Azerbaijani authorities do not deny it, and are not ashamed to name Safarov a hero exactly because he is a murderer and exactly because he murdered an Armenian. I think I know what’s your problem, Mr. Aliyev. You simply cut any possibility for the bright personalities to flourish under your “I am the State” regime and massive nation-wide violation of human rights. This is why all you have to be proud of is a miserable murderer. You know, I tried to hate you, but all I ended up with is feeling sorry for you and those of your compatriots who support your dumb decision. But let that be your problem. The last thing I want to tell you is that, I know bright personalities in Azerbaijan, who I’ve never felt sorry for so far. And I do believe they will keep on fighting against the sick ideals you feed your society with.


Hundreds of Armenians were protesting the extradition in front of the Hungarian consulate in Yerevan. What Hungarian Ministry of so-called Justice did is definitely to be protested. The case is not only about Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is obviously also about Hungarian government which unfortunately turned to be so pure and naive to believe “assurances from the Baku government that his [Safarov’s] sentence would be enforced in Baku”. However burning Hungarian flag during the demonstration in Yerevan was as disgusting as the Hungarian decision of extradition. We have to understand that the symbols as the national flag are tightly connected with people’s feelings and identity. Nobody is given a right to hurt it. Thousands of Hungarians do not have anything to do with this case and no way deserved watching their flag burning. This is unacceptable. I want to thank my Hungarian friends who condemned extradition and told me that felt ashamed for their government. And I want to apologize for the flag incident.


Article 12 on the Pardon, Amnesty and Commutation of the Strasbourg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons clearly says: Each Party may grant pardon, amnesty or commutation of the sentence in accordance with its Constitution or other laws.

Dear lawyers, could you explain me please what is the point of the document if in the end it does not provision any responsibility for the cease of imprisonment of the sentenced person? (Sigh) why am I asking lawyers though? Did not I know that International Law is least of all about law, and mostly about world politics. As for the world politics, by the way, and major powers – they do not seem to be prompt in the evaluation of this outrageous case – I guess they are just fluctuating between the price of human rights and priceless Azerbaijani oil.



Filed under Armenia, Caucasus, Human Rights, Political, Society

Interview with Armenian Refugee from Baku

“We could not even imagine that would never have a chance to return to Baku”, – says Elina, a 25-year-old PhD student and senior researcher at Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University. She was 2 years old when her family decided to move to Armenia in 1988. Although the Sumgait pogroms had already taken place by that time, no one in the family thought that shortly after Azerbaijan and Armenia would get involved into a full-scale military confrontation and the border would get closed for years. In 1988 Elina’s father was offered a good position in the field of oil and gas industry and an apartment for the whole family in Armenia. The new page in their life started and prolonged up to now in the town located in the west of Armenia with the population of around 34,000 named Hoktemberyan (now Armavir). Elina recalls her toys and bicycle “at home” and says that they left their apartment in the downtown not even making an attempt to sell it or exchange, having no idea that the clashes will grow into the war soon. The situation did not seem to get any better. Moreover by 1990, Elina’s grandparents and other relatives moved to Armenia, while people around were already talking about possibility of the war with Azerbaijan. Read more on the Neutral Zone

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Filed under Caucasus, Human Dimension, Society

IMAGINE’s getting creative

“IMAGINE 2011” production
The Neutral Zone


inspiring primiere videos
I Have A Friend


“I am Peaced”

directed by Imagine 2011 Alumni



Filed under Caucasus, People, Society

You may say that I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one

IMAGINE” Armenian-Azerbaijani Dialogue Programme 2011 in lovely Bakuriani, Georgia is over. It has been the fifth year when young people from the two countries gathered on a neutral territory to discuss the complexity of the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia trying to find some ways for their improvement.
It was not the first time I participated in a programme involving young activists from the South Caucasus. But this time I could observe something in a way different.
I should probably just sketch a couple of things that would perfectly characterize “Imagine” as something absolutely special in my life.

Imagine is a project that
brought Azerbaijani and Armenian youth to talk face to face about their interpretation of the historical facts related to the conflict and relations between the two societies

Imagine there’s no Heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky

put all of us into a number of challenges to overcome during the negotiations (discussing history and the current political situation) and while cooperating (project planning, potential networking)
included endlessly funny and creative “color games” competitions every day right after the passionate discussions so that by the end of the day I could hardly remember who exactly I was insistently arguing with during the morning sessions
encouraged me to be brave enough to talk to the participants about any concerns I had regarding my relations with them in order to avoid any insincerity between us

created an atmosphere for us sitting in the circle to share truly personal stories without fear to be misunderstood and without hesitation to look too sensitive or even fragile
was a 100% blast
proved that challenges and honesty lead to success
revealed that imagination should be healthy and pragmatic and then it’s extremely enjoyable
reminded that even if someone thinks we are just dreamers, yet we are not the only ones, and we are not alone!

I so much did not want the programme to end and at the same time I was looking forward to the last day in order to start the follow up as soon as possible!
Cheers to everyone who initiated and contributed to this programme!
Good luck with all of your follow up projects, Imaginers!

I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one…


Filed under Caucasus, People, Society

Astana OSCE Summit (one more step back)

When Astana Declaration was finally written, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, as reports, mentioned that “[t]here were particular objections over protracted conflicts — different desires, different opinions. I consider that, despite this, we have achieved consensus.” I do not know what made him so optimistic about the outcomes of the Summit and the valueless declaration, but what Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents were talking about simply made me frustrated.

First of all, both speeches delivered by presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan were absolutely similar with the only difference of the name of the “cruel offender”:
“Armenia destroyed our cities and villages, our houses and places of worship, our graves and cemeteries.” (from Ilham Aliev’s speech)
“[…]All this is accompanied by blatant Armenophobic statements by Azerbaijani leaders, by calls that incite animosity, aggression and violence.” (from Serge Sargsyan’s speech)
Full texts are avaulable at and
To me both look like the whinings of two kids before their parents. Guess now who the parents are…

by PanARMENIAN Network

Well, our history is certainly important for us. As you know from my previous posts, I am also one of the victims of that “ethnic cleansing” mentioned in the speech of the Armenian president.
But if we build the negotiations on these facts we will never reach any positive results. Instead, every new step back will be followed by another one. Wait, maybe we just want to loose thousands of our compatriots in the war again in order to understand the real value of the things? I do not know.

Alright, I am not saying that conflict resolution is an easy thing to deal with. It is comprised with a lot of interconnected obstacles, it requires time and many efforts. So I did not really expect the two presidents to come up with a detailed action plan on the conflict resolution, nor even a constructive negotitation about it. But to be honest I did not expect them to step back either.

And when I am looking at the picture on the right I understand from their faces how far we are from either consensus or even an ability to think beyond the stereotypes.
That’s sad, very sad. Without even being ever excited about the upcoming summit in Astana, I am now totally disappointed with its outcomes.

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Filed under Caucasus, Political