Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, today responded to the transfer and release of Ramil Safarov, an Azeri soldier who hacked an Armenian soldier to death in his sleep at a Partnership for Peace exercise in 2004. The Hungarians released Safarov to Azerbaijan where he was set free and treated like a hero.
"Hungary recently transferred Ramil Safarov, who had been serving a life sentence for the axe murder of an Armenian soldier at an international exercise in 2004, to Azerbaijan, with the apparent understanding that his prison term would continue. I am shocked and appalled that Azerbaijan not only welcomed Safarov home, but pardoned, promoted, and treated him as a hero. This needlessly provocative act endangers the fragile peace between these countries and damages the government of Azerbaijan's credibility."