Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus, today issued the following statement condemning the Azerbaijani Government's pardon of Azerbaijani military officer Ramil Safarov, who was sentenced to life in prison in Hungary for murdering an Armenian officer in 2004. He was sent back to his homeland and immediately pardoned and freed by Azerbaijan's president:
"I am outraged by the reckless actions taken by the government of Azerbaijan in freeing Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani soldier who brutally murdered an unarmed Armenian soldier during a NATO-sponsored training program in Hungary. It is extremely egregious that the President of Azerbaijan has issued a decree granting pardon to a convicted murderer and has allowed him to walk free despite his conviction.
"These are not the actions of a government that is dedicated to justice and peace. Unfortunately, the actions taken by Azerbaijan only further confirm their desire to facilitate and condone violence against Armenia and its people.
"I believe that the United States government should stand in solidarity with the Armenian government in condemning the actions of the governments of Azerbaijan. Further, I call upon the Azerbaijani government to acknowledge Ramil Safarov as a convicted murderer and immediately take action commensurate with a democratic nation that supports justice under the rule of law."