Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman Welcomes the ECHR Decision on Gurgen Margaryan’s Case

26 MAY 2020, Press Releases

Today, on May 26, the European Court of Human Rights has published the decision on the case Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary submitted to the ECHR in 2013 by the successors of Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian officer killed by Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov in a hotel while sleeping in Budapest on February 19, 2004, as well as by Hayk Makuchyan who was subjected to attempted murder.

 According to the decision, Hungary’s transfer to Azerbaijan of the murderer Ramil Safarov, his pardon by Azerbaijan, in fact, acquittal and glorification are recognized as violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in Article 2 (the Right to Life) and Article 14 (Prohibition of Discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Human Rights Ombudsman welcomes that decision and states that the crime which took place in Hungary in 2004, and the 2012 pardon and de facto glorification of the criminal by Azerbaijan was a manifestation of the state policy of Armenophobia which has been expressed in all possible spheres of Azerbaijan for decades. Since 2004, Armenophobia in Azerbaijan has become more organized with the murderer Ramil Safarov’s behavior being portrayed by the Azerbaijani state propaganda and the Human Rights Commissioner as “the best example.” We continue to constantly witness such manifestations in official politics and policy, social life and Azerbaijani media.

The policy of Armenophobia had more severe consequences during the war unleashed by Azerbaijan in April, 2016, in the form of war crimes against Armenian servicemen and civilians on which the Ombudsman published a special report in 2016. And the results of the monitoring of the manifestations of the anti-Armenian hatred policy by Azerbaijan were summed up in the “Armenophobia in Azerbaijan. Organized Hate Speech and Animosity against Armenians” special report in September 2018.

In the context of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and the ongoing policy of Armenophobia, the cases of violation of human rights of Armenian servicemen and civilians under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan continue to be more pronounced and worrying. Up to now, Arsen Baghdasaryan, Karen Ghazaryan and Arayik Ghazaryan remain under continuous human rights violations in Azerbaijan.

Given that the people of the Republic of Artsakh are the primary target of the Armenophobia policy and continue to feel its negative consequences, the Ombudsman hopes that this decision of the ECHR and various steps taken by the international community will have a preventive effect on the dissemination of Armenophobia policy in Azerbaijan and for committing new crimes based on it. In this regard, it is highly desirable that each of such cases receive a proper legal and political assessment by international organizations and states that play a key role in the region.