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Ramil Safarov was born on August 25, 1977 in the town of Jabrayil, former Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic of Soviet Union (now Azerbaijan Republic) where he finished middle school.
He is one of four brothers. Jabrayil was captured by Nagorno-Karabakh forces on August 26, 1993, and remains under control of Nagorno-Karabakh army as part of the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Safarov's family fled to Baku in 1991. During a court hearing, Safarov recounted memories from the years of war, during which he had lost family members.
This, however, contradicted another version he told the court, where he stated that he was studying in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku and in Turkey from 1992 to 1996. He continued his studies at Maltepe Military High School in İzmir and then at the Turkish Military Academy, graduating in 2000, after which he returned to Azerbaijan.
In January 2004, the 26-year-old Ramil Safarov, along with another officer from Azerbaijan, went to Budapest (Hungary), to participate in the three-month English language courses, organized by NATO's Partnership for Peace program for military personnel from different countries.
On February 19, 2004 broke into Margaryan's dormitory room at night and axed him to death while Margaryan was asleep.
n 2006, Safarov was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary with a minimum incarceration period of 30 years.
After his request under the Strasbourg Convention, he was extradited on August 31, 2012 to Azerbaijan, where he was greeted as a hero, pardoned by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev despite contrary assurances made to Hungary, promoted to the rank of major.
On October 2, 2012 married Shabnam Mammadova.
No children. By religion - Muslim.
"My job is to kill all [Armenians], because until they live we will suffer"
"…in another time in another place I would have done the same..."
"If there were more Armenians … I would commit the crime on all. However, this was the first and I didn't have the chance to prepare more punctually to commit this action"
"I feel sorry that I haven't killed any Armenian until now"
"…when they walked close to me they mumbled something in Armenian and laughed at me. That was the time when I decided that I will kill these two persons, the Armenians, I will cut their head off"
"My release is the triumph of justice"
Ramil Safarov's issue was used by the Armenians and, unfortunately, by some foreign circles as an excuse and the negotiations reached a deadlock because of that issue.
Ramil Safarov's issue as if enabled them and some foreign countries dealing with this problem to condemn Azerbaijan, as if Azerbaijan delivers a blow to the negotiation process.
As regards Ramil Safarov's issue, I want to say once again that everything was within the law. The issue of extradition was solved based on European conventions and I pardoned Ramil Safarov based on the Constitution of Azerbaijan. It was a very right decision and I want to say once again that even if I knew that the Armenians and their patrons would make such a stir, I would still pardon Ramil Safarov on his arrival to Azerbaijan.
"Azerbaijan returned its officer to the homeland. This is the most important problem. No matter what the Armenians say, I don't care about it at all. No matter what their patrons say, I don't care about it, I give no importance to these statements and none of the unfounded accusations against Azerbaijan has remained unanswered."
"My son witnessed how the Armenians ripped the heart out of a human's chest"
"President Mr Ilham Aliyev gave us this joy. Ramil Safarov's return to Azerbaijan and his pardon that happened as soon as he set his foot on the homeland doubled the joy of the Azerbaijani people."
"I am thankful to everyone who supported and gave strength to Ramil during these 8.5 years. I am grateful to everyone, with the leadership of Mister President. Our joy is boundless!!! This joy is not only mine, everyone is happy today! Ramil is the son of this homeland and he will serve his people until his last breath. It is Ramil Safarov's duty."
Source: interfax.az anspress.com
"Remember, sonny, that there are both good and bad people in every nation, but the Armenians are the only nation in the world that has no good people or only a few good people."
"Listen and remember, my son, the Armenians are our deadly enemies. Don't leave the enemy unavenged! If you meet an Armenian, even in the most civilized country in the world, treat him like a creature that drank the blood of your people! Never forgive your enemy! If you forgive him, the bread of the Homeland, the Father's blood and the Mother's milk will be damned to you!!!."
"Ramil Safarov is not only the hero of Azerbaijan, but the hero of the whole world. Monuments should be erected in his honor. Not every man is able to do what he did. There are two heroes: one is Mister Ilham Aliyev and the other is Ramil Safarov. If I were in Ramil's place, I would do the same. He took an Armenian's life, and he was right to do so."
"The brave step of the country's leader demonstrated that he, as President and Supreme Commander in Chief of the Republic of Azerbaijan, is behind each citizen, soldier and officer of Azerbaijan. It also serves as an appeal for the unification of the entire Azerbaijani people against the enemy."
"It is also an appeal for the solidarity of the entire Azerbaijani people in the face of the enemy."
"This event is a cause for joy and pride for each of us. It is very impressive to see here our soldier, the devoted son of his people, who was sent to prison for defending the glory and honor of the homeland and the people."
"Ramil is a very strong-willed person, a fighter by nature, he does not forget about his homeland for even a minute, and during the talk he asked about all processes and events taking place in Azerbaijan."
"Our victory at the Eurovision 2011 Song Contest, our sportsmen's success at international tournaments, the valor of such persons as Mubariz Ibrahimov and Ramil Safarov gave a second breath to the Azerbaijani society and people."
"Ramil Safarov should become an example of patriotism for the Azerbaijani youth."
"Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, once again proving his commitment to his promise to be president of each and every Azerbaijani, realized another dream of our people, showing his humaneness once again, pardoning R. Safarov and creating a possibility for his return to the homeland as a free citizen."
"The extradition of R. Safarov sentenced to life imprisonment, based on the international convention, and his pardon made happy the entire Azerbaijani people."
"This became another confirmation of humaneness of President Ilham Aliyev and his care about the citizens of Azerbaijan."
Source: Zerkalo 28 Февраль 2004, salamnews.org, 1news.az interfax.az
"Dear Ramil! Congratulations to you! Inshallah, you may see your 35th birthday in your home. After our acquaintance in the Hungarian prison and our long talks, I am grateful to my fate for knowing so closely such a patriotic young man who loves his homeland."
"Ramil Safarov is freed! Congratulations to you, Azerbaijanis! We are grateful to the President for R. Safarov's return to Azerbaijan and for his pardon."
"If at this point, the community of Azerbaijan fails to rescue Ramil Safarov from the Armenian diaspora, in the future we will not be able to win the war for the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani lands."
Source: Zerkalo newspaper, 28.02.2004
"Incidents like this will happen as long as the Armenians do not give up their claims for Nagorno-Karabakh."
"I do not advise the Armenians to sleep calmly until the Karabakh conflict is settled as incidents like in Budapest cannot be ruled out."
Source: Zerkalo, 23 February, 2004
"The opinion of Azerbaijani public and the principle of humaneness played a role in Ramil Safarov's release."
"After 8.5 years of serving the sentence, the Azerbaijani public regards Safarov's release as a just act. The Azerbaijani public's confidence and respect for Ramil Safarov is growing."
"As a member of government and as an ordinary citizen, I am very proud of Mister President's decision to pardon Ramil Safarov. It was a courageous step."
"We regard it as a fair decision which of course worries our enemies. However, we do not care about it as the goal of every Azerbaijani is to fight his enemies wherever he is."
"I feel very proud that the sports club Janub gave the hero Ramil Safarov's name to this gym. I believe that Ramil Safarov will learn about this and rejoice at not being forgotten. I hope that the next opening of a new gym will be dedicated to another national hero, Mubariz Ibrahimov. Today, your initiatives are supported at the state level in Azerbaijan."
"His release will contribute to the strengthening of psychological and moral mood of Azerbaijani public"
"Ramil Safarov's release strengthens the nation's authority. Ramil Safarov is not just the son of his father, he is a representative of the Azerbaijani people …this event can have an impact on the strengthening of national spirit."
Source: news.az topnews.az
"Ramil Safarov is free. The Azerbaijani President carried out a great work to eliminate injustice regarding him, and it yielded a concrete result."
"It is necessary to create conditions for the service of such officers as Ramil, patriots of Azerbaijan, who are ready to sacrifice themselves."
"Ramil Safarov was in jail for 8 years, but his issue never left Azerbaijan's agenda. Many individuals and agencies, including the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, provided moral support to Ramil Safarov all this time."
"For two fair reasons – historical and practical – Ilham Aliyev signed a decree to pardon Ramil Safarov even before the landing of the plane on which he, extradited from Hungary, arrived"
"We are happy about Ramil's release. But the joy cannot be for no reason: many people did a good job for two years to make our citizens happy."
"Safarov's extradition from Hungary to Azerbaijan and his pardon is the logical expression of the Azerbaijani President's policy to release the patriotic officer."
"Safarov's release is the logical continuation of attention to our patriots and people with national spirit."
"President Ilham Aliyev's pardon of Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov is a very happy event."
"The Armenians must understand that Ramil Safarov's release is another victory of Azerbaijan"
"Ramil Safarov's pardon was the dream of all Azerbaijanis of Nagorno-Karabakh. He is dear to each Karabakhian as a real hero of Azerbaijan. His release is the result of the policy of the Azerbaijani state and another defeat of the Armenians. Justice has been done at last."
"I don't care how Ramil Safarov killed the Armenian officer. What is important is that now there is one Gurgen less, and the more Azerbaijanis kill Armenians, the less there will be of them."
"R. Safarov did his duty towards the Azerbaijani people, and the state and the public appreciated R. Safarov highly."
"The order of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to pardon Ramil Safarov is worthy of the highest praise. The Ministry of Defense welcomed with great joy the news of Ramil Safarov's extradition from Hungary and his subsequent pardon."
"His arrival to the motherland, his release is a very positive fact. I congratulate his family and friends."
"By pardoning R. Safarov, the Azerbaijani President explained to the world that those who work for the homeland must defend it"
"The Azerbaijani soldier is convicted for the murder of the person who insulted our state flag, while the country of murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan immediately declared him a national hero."
"I think the Azerbaijani President's decree to pardon Ramil Safarov is a courageous and brave step, as well as a restoration of justice"
"The people welcomed with great joy and satisfaction the Azerbaijani President's order to pardon him after his extradition."
Source: 1news.az копия day.az
"I think the decision to extradite him was right. And I think it is adequate that the head of state quickly, without paying attention to Armenian howls, made the decision to pardon him. It is also adequate in terms of public expectations."
"As regards the heroization…If an ordinary citizen expresses his emotions, his joy over the fact that his co-citizen and compatriot is returned to the homeland after many years, these are simple human emotions, no matter if the Armenians like it or not."
"Armenians must be killed in Karabakh"
"Safarov should be defended on the state level. That concerns not only the state agencies, but also the public and each citizen of Azerbaijan"
"I always tell our officers who study in Turkey: "You are needed in Karabakh. They must be killed in Karabakh, not in the other countries."
"Ramil Safarov should not have done so. He could return to the homeland a year later as a professional serviceman, an officer. And he could prepare an operation inflicting losses of many thousands to the Armenians."
"I am absolutely convinced that Ramil Safarov's welcome in Azerbaijan as a hero is quite appropriate. Moreover, I think that the Armenians' argumentation on that issue is hypocritical as I can't imagine that if an Armenian killed an Azerbaijani, he would be welcomed differently in Yerevan."
"Seeing an Armenian with whom he is at war, with no truce signed, he perceived him the way he would perceive him if he saw him on the Azerbaijani border."
Source: day.az youtube.com
"The war is over, but the thirst for revenge for the honor of the country and people, lost wellbeing of the family and death of relatives remains and he realized it through the murder of the Armenian officer in peacetime and in the capital of a foreign state. In peaceful life, without hesitation, he did what he had to do in wartime. And, I repeat it once again, this is his truth and his tragedy."
"Such deeds have to be committed exactly this way... The monument of the gallant officer Ramil Safarov, whom you have pardoned, must be erected in all military units to serve as an example to each Azerbaijani soldier... That's how the love for one's nation, patriotism and bravery should be."
"Ramil Safarov, citizen of Azerbaijan Republic, extradited from Hungary to his motherland and pardoned by the order of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, becomes an honorary member of the Caucasian International Research Centre for Geohistory and Geopolitics in compliance with the decision of the association.
We are grateful to Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev for his fair decision about Ramil Safarov!"
"The West is to blame for what has happened. If it does not want to see the repetition of Ramil Safarov's action, it should support Azerbaijan's fair position and rapidly settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."
"Quite an unexpected and at the same time pleasant news came from Georgia against the backdrop of unceasing lamentations of the Armenians over the extradition and pardon of Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov. The Caucasian International Research Centre for Geohistory and Geopolitics admitted Ramil Safarov as an honorary member."
"Azerbaijan knows very well what made Ramil Safarov commit the murder, as well as the circumstances of the crime (for instance, the fact that Safarov entered Margaryan's room and turned on the light and the Armenian officer woke up and even wanted to get up from bed).
Source: vesti.az vesti.az
"Safarov axed G. Margaryan because he repeatedly and publicly insulted the Azerbaijani flag, the people and the memory of those who died during the Karabakh war."
"R. Safarov went towards the door of G. Margaryan, who, as it became clear, woke up and opened the door to R. Safarov."
"The thesis on the state's duty to protect each citizen is one of the basic principles stated in the constitutions of actually all country members of the United Nations. But only a spiritually strong and really independent state can fulfill that principle in the complicated international situation, taking the risk of not being understood by the serious political players. Azerbaijan's long, tense struggle for the release of its citizen, Ramil Safarov, should be viewed in this context. By returning Ramil Safarov to the homeland, the Azerbaijani state demonstrated to the public its fidelity to commitments towards the Azerbaijani citizens whose rights it has to protect not only within its territory, but also throughout the world."
"If Ramil killed an ordinary Armenian – old man or woman – I would condemn it. But he killed an ARMY OFFICER"
"If I were in the place of Ramil's father, I would be proud that my son liquidated the potential murderer of another four-week-old Azerbaijani baby."
"We will also consider Ramil a hero, even a greater hero, as he killed an officer, not a woman or a child."
"I assure you that if there is a chance when we face an officer of the enemy army with which the war is not over yet, we will not miss it." (From the editorial staff: this is Vugar Seidov's answer to the question of whether he is ready to kill the Armenians. Vugar is ready to kill irrespective of the fact that there is a temporary truce, the peace negotiations are underway, and the two presidents shake hands during every meeting).
"Hungarian politicians admitted that any self-respecting Hungarian would act exactly the same way as Safarov."
"But what did they want? Did they want Safarov to throw a gauntlet at the face of that flag trampler and challenge him to a duel with seconds? History shows that the hays do not deserve such nobleness."
"I think it is absolutely deserved! It must be punished strictly – whether the person is sleeping, dreaming or doing something else."
Source: aze.az rizvanhuseynov.com
"Currently, in Azerbaijan, hundreds of innocent people like R. Safarov dream of taking revenge on the Armenians."
"Many thousands of representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Ukraine learnt about Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov's extradition and pardon with a great joy."
"On behalf of the Congress of Ukrainian Azerbaijanis, as well as the Azerbaijanis living in Ukraine and also me personally, I want to express a deep gratitude to the President Ilham Aliyev, because by pardoning the Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov, you showed all our citizens that everyone among us has each of us."
"R. Safarov's transfer to Azerbaijan and his pardon is a happy event for the entire Azerbaijan and an evidence of justice."
"… awarding R. Safarov, who is held hostage in the Hungarian prison, the title of a national hero can become a support and a foundation for raising the patriotic and fighting spirit of the Azerbaijani youth..."
"As a real officer, he punished with a primordially Turkic method the one who insulted the flag of independent Azerbaijan. The homeland must appreciate his step."