The Axe Effect: Thousands Protest in Front of Hungarian Parliament (Update)

Dozens of Demonstrations Planned Worldwide

BUDAPEST, Hungary (A.W.)—Thousands of Hungarians gathered in front of the parliament building in Budapest on Sept. 4 to express outrage at their government’s decision to extradite axe-murderer Safarov to his home country Azerbaijan, where he received a hero’s welcome, was pardoned, and promoted.

‘The honor of Hungarians is not for sale,’ read one banner. Another, in Hungarian, read, ‘This is not our shame!’

In 2004, Safarov murdered Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian lieutenant, with an axe, while the latter was asleep. He was sentenced to life in prison.

“The honor of Hungarians is not for sale,” read one banner. Another, in Hungarian, read, “This is not our shame!” A third read, “We are sorry, Armenia!” and was also one of the main chants at the demonstration.

“Murderers should not be extradited to countries where it is clear that ethnic hate crimes are considered heroism,” protester Laszlo Muhari told Reuters. “In a democratic country this is not acceptable.”

Muhari added, “[Prime Minister Viktor] Orban should stop lying and start giving clear answers, because it is simply impossible that such a brutal killer is just released without a background deal.”

‘Stupid, unethical, uncivilized, and illegal’

Thousands of Hungarians continued to join Facebook groups apologizing for their government’s action. One such group, called “Sorry, Armenia,” had more than 11,300 followers as of Sept. 4.

In comments provided to Armenian Weekly Editor Khatchig Mouradian, Krulf, the founder of the group, said, “We have nothing to do with either Armenian or Azeri affairs. This is about the Hungarian government’s stupid, unethical, un-European, uncivilized, internationally illegal, deplorable action, for which we, as some of the thinking and civilized citizens of this country, wish to apologize.”

“As human beings, we wish to express that this was not done with our agreement, on our behalf, or in our name. We distance ourselves from this government,” said Krulf, who uses a cyber-name fearing government reprisal.

A scene from the demonstration in Budapest.

“It is our internal problem which, however, touches on other nations and international affairs and concerns, by all accounts, not only the people of Armenia, but people in many countries. It has caused a huge international uproar and consternation by many, including the president of the United States. So we will apologize, we are apologizing,” he concluded.

For more details on the reaction of thousands of Hungarians outraged by their government’s action, read our report here.

Demonstrations worldwide

Meanwhile, Armenians and others condemning the extradition took part in demonstrations and gatherings across the world.

In Calcutta, India, members of the Armenian community gathered in front of the Hungarian consulate on Sept. 3 carrying signs that read, “Shame on you, Hungary” and demanding an apology from the Hungarian government.

A group photo of the Armenians gathered in front of the consulate in Calcutta on Sept. 3.

On the same day, similar protests were held in front of the Hungarian Embassies in Oslo and London.

On Sept. 4, the ARF “Armenia Youth Organization” and Homenetmen held a demonstration in front of the Azerbaijani embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Sept. 6, another demonstration will be held in Buenos Aires, this time in front of the Hungarian embassy.

Dozens of other demonstrations are scheduled worldwide for later this week. On Sept. 5, a demonstration will be held in front of the Hungarian Embassy in Cyprus. On Sept. 6, a large demonstration will take place in front of the Azerbaijani and Hungarian consulates in Los Angeles.

The author would like to thank Zsuzsanna Guba for her help with translation from Hungarian. A follow-up to this story will be published later this week. Please send your letters, comments, and relevant links to the author at or contact him on Twitter by clicking here.

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

Khatchig Mouradian is the Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist at the Library of Congress and a lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. He also serves as Co-Principal Investigator of the project on Armenian Genocide Denial at the Global Institute for Advanced Studies, New York University. Mouradian is the author of The Resistance Network: The Armenian Genocide and Humanitarianism in Ottoman Syria, 1915-1918, published in 2021. The book has received the Syrian Studies Association “Honourable Mention 2021.” In 2020, Mouradian was awarded a Humanities War & Peace Initiative Grant from Columbia University. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming book on late-Ottoman history, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal The Armenian Review.
Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

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  1. We should not keep silent for such donkeys’ act (axed murderer). Armenians in the world should demonstrate against such an assholes’ crime.
    Azeir race needs thousand of years to civilize and understand how to deal
    with modernized world, shame on Hungary and Azerbaijan.

  2. To our Hungarian Friends:

    Your state and nation desires to have honest dealings with other states, and in the narrower interest of justice regarding the murderer Safarov, who laughs at your laws, you should demand that Hungary extradite Safarov back to Hungary, and if that fails, have an international warrant issued for his arrest.

    You will actually do Safarov a favor, because his own government will surely kill him in a year or two as he embarasses them.

  3. thanks to the honorable and civilized people of hungary, we armenians appreciate your support, but your government reaks of corruption, and lacks the fortitute to stand up for civilized justice, shame on your government.

  4. In the sacred name of the Great Armenian people I apologize before the Great and honest Hungarian people for the stupidity of the illegal Armenian President. Shame on You, sinful “President” of Armenia. On the one hand, You could not support the Armenian Officer, on the other hand, You want to get political dividents on the innocent blood of the Armenian Officer and the rough error of the Hungarian Government. That way, You make the Armenian people hysterical.

    • Nobody elected or appointed you to speak in the name of the Great Armenian people.

      The President of Armenia is as legal and legitimate as Presidents ……Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama – and the rest that will come after.

      Agents provocateurs like you are dime-a-dozen.

      Three Great RoA Presidents and their administrations of The Third Republic of the Great Armenian nation have: helped with the creation of a free and independent NKR; have increased the strategic depth of the Great Armenian nation more than in centuries; and have maintained peace through strength; The Defense Forces of NKR and RoA are the most potent, combat ready military forces in the region.

      And while you were getting your PhD (in what ?), Pres Sargsyan was participating in the NKR war of liberation.

      The shame is on you , pal.

    • Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD,

      I do disagree with your comment completely. So, Hungarian government extradites the criminal, beside assuring Armenia that they will not do it previously, Azeris release the criminal and promote, and Armenian president gets the blame?
      I am Armenian citizen, and I do not see the need to appologize before Hungarian people for our president.

      In fact, I am happy that he suspended all the ties with Hungary.

      May I kindly ask you if you hold Armenian citizenship?

    • @ Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD

      A PhD of ‘mediocrity and betryal’.

      People like are the disgrace of Armenian name!

    • Wow! Are you out of your mind? How is this Sargsyan’s fault? I fear that hysterical Armenians such as yourself are more of a threat to Armenia’s national security than animals like safarov or aliyev.

    • What are you talking about Mr. PhD ? The Honorable President Sargsyan did the right thing by cutting ties with Hungary. It wasn’t done for political gain. Can you even comprehend what has transpired? Armenians have been bullied long enough. People like you disgust me, it’s no secret that there are some so-called ‘Armenian’ professionals and educators who work for Turkey/US to try to influence Armenians. Sargsyan is not illegal nor do Armenians want some puppet. So FO.

    • [Three Great RoA Presidents and their administrations…] —I appreciate your patriotism, Avery, really do, but you overplay when it comes to three “great” RoA presidents. I’d rather spare the space on AW proving to you that shadows look different from the cave. —Cheers.

    • Armen:

      read the PhD’s post, then read my reply to that post: you will understand why I used the label ‘Great’. Not everything is as it seems.

      and despite your personal dislike of RoA’s various governments, and despite justifiable criticism by you and others of their many domestic policies and shortcomings, there is one stellar achievement of all three RoA Presidents that for me trumps all else: Achieving and maintaining Independence of RoA; Achieving and maintaining Independence of NKR; More strategic, defensible territorial depth than in centuries of Armenian history; Peace through strength.

      The fact that RoA and NKR have prioritized – by necessity – building and maintaining the two most combat ready, lethal defense forces in South Caucasus – is above all else for me.

      We have had high culture and perfect Democracy with zero corruption (the 1st Republic) that was crushed under the hooves of marauding invaders with no concept of civilization, let alone democracy. No level of perfect Democracy will matter if Azeri tanks are rolling down the streets of Stepanakert and NKR is lost. Followed by RoA.

    • Jack,

      The Honorable President Sargsyan did not cut ties with Hungary. He just suspended ties. It’s not cutting. Suspension means ties can be restored at any given moment. It’s a half-measure, and totally ineffective thereof. Let’s be honest.

    • Avery,

      I don’t approve of the PhD’s post, but I likewise disapprove unnecessary aggrandizement of our rulers—past or present—knowing too well the degree of corruption, lawlessness, and public dissatisfaction in the country. It is not just a personal dislike; masses of people immigrated showing their detest towards irresponsible and self-centered government.

      Unlike you, I firmly believe that achieving and maintaining the independence of RoA and NKR was made possible, to the greater extent, by those noble Armenian patriots who gave their lives in the frontlines, not by the rulers. Likewise, the RoA and NKR’s combat ready, lethal defense forces are manned by the soldiers and army commanders, not the rulers.

      I agree that during the First Democratic Republic we had more democracy than now, but we lost not because of the democracy, but because we were sandwiched in between bloodthirsty Turks from the South and the Bolsheviks from the North. Even if we had combat ready, lethal defense forces and not democracy back in 1920, we could not, given these two outpowering enemies, defend the country’s independence for long.

      [No level of perfect Democracy will matter if Azeri tanks are rolling down the streets of Stepanakert and NKR is lost. Followed by RoA.] —Agree. But the lack of it affects your military preparedness in terms of manpower that’s immigrating. How do you solve this dilemma?

    • in my post above: should be “emigrated” and “emigrating” not “immigrate” and “immigrating”, of course. typed in a hurry, sorry

    • Armen:

      Throughout the world, leaders get credit and blame in equal measure for being leaders. It should be obvious that when a leader is credited with winning a war, he was/is not the one slaying the enemy multitudes by himself. Maybe in the days of Alexander the Great, but not in modern warfare.

      Winston Churchill is credited for his steadfast leadership during WW2, not because he was fighting in the field with his troops.
      I am quite aware that the 3 Armenian presidents are not the ones that fought. (except Pres. Sargsyan (a little)). And I know quite well who the noble patriots are: both living and those who gave their lives.

      You want to blame the RoA leadership for the bad, but don’t want to give them credit for the good.
      If they were in charge, then they get both the blame and the credit: comes with the territory.
      If you don’t want to give them credit, don’t blame them either: if someone else was responsible for all the successes, then somebody else was and is responsible for all the failures.

      You can’t be in charge and not be in charge at the same time.

    • Well, Avery, then, tit for tat, you want to give RoA rulers credit for the good, but don’t want to blame them for the bad. Let’s then agree that the truth lies somewhere in between. In any case, the well-being of the people should be the indicator of how good or bad a ruler is, and many of us just don’t see that happening in Armenia. Many others leave. And that’s the truth. Sorry.

    • Avery,

      On a separate subject but related to the effectiveness of a ruler. Are you satisfied with the reaction to the release of a criminal that RoA authorities have given? Do you think suspension of diplomatic relations with Hungary was an adequate gesture from one of the three Great Armenian presidents? Do you really think that RoA authorizes were caught off guard when the Azeri bastard was released?

    • Avery,
      Not taking anyone’s sides ,however, the Armenian administrations have also ripped off the Armenian people and created a post soviet style oligarch system that actually drove off 1/3 of its population, This system is one of financial disadvantage and injustice for the common Armenian citizen as the laws seems to be for the protection of the wealthy few only.

      Yes, Armenia , with its corrupt system still does need our collective support as its the only one we have.

  5. Thanks to all good people of Hungary. Please stand strong against these actions by governments because this is an act against you and your honor too. Have those who did it removed from power. Demand a reverse extradiction of murderer Safarov.

  6. How about demanding to free Hampig Sasoonian and send him to Armenia, and make him a Major?
    Since we are at it, we can also demand the legalization of political assinations. In other words, open the Pandora Box…

  7. So what now? I mean it’s happened, ok, it was wrong, as we all know the Azeri president as corrupt and crooked as they come. His whole being in power is forced upon it’s people, and his regime is a dictatorship.
    But what now? Will Safarov be re-extordited back to Hungary? NO
    Will Europe, America support the Armenian nation in demanding answers from Baku? NO
    Will there be any sanctions against Azerbaijan? NO
    Will people stop trading with the lunatic? NO
    Will other nations trust Azerbaijan in the future? QUESTIONABLE!
    Until the BIG boys demand answers from Aliyev and his crack pot regime government, this whole, sad episode will be yesterdays news in a week or two.
    Aliyev needs to be asked why he lied? why he does not respect any treaty which exhists around the world within civilised nations and how he proposes to hold his head up high as a leader of his nation.
    I personally, if I was an Azeri citizen, would also like to know why my leader has lied on the world stage, to so many decent nations, Hungary for one, brought shame on me and my fellow citizens, knowing that nothing he says from now on will be taken seriously. But then again, oil, oil, oil……………

    • Dan
      I say, follow the Jewish path (since they’re more experienced in tracking murderers of the Jews). Look up in the Internet how the Israeli special operation forces found Adolf Eichmann in Latin America, brought him to Israel, and finished that son of a b***.

  8. The mistake was that the Azeri criminal should have been extradited to Armenia, tried and executed there, because it was a member of the Armenian Army that he murdered. United States would have demanded the murderer of its military personnel to be extradited to America and tried there and not in a foreign country where the murder occurred.

  9. How can someone with even a bird’s brain call Ramil Safarov a hero? Let’s put our emotions aside and approach this situation logically.
    2 students (soldiers) attend a workshop. 1 soldier Axe murders another soldier while the latter is asleep. Only a coward kills someone while the other is asleep. I bet you anything, had Gurgen Margaryan been awake Safarove would not have dared to approach Markaryan. That is why he killed while Gurgen was asleep.
    It takes one to know one Mr. President of Azerbaijan.

  10. Hungarian citizens show so much respect and honor which makes them completly different from the cathegory Azerbaijan belongs to.

    Thank you to the good citizens of Hungaria

    And to the Hungarian Government:

    You owe Armenia an appology.
    You owe the good people of Hungry an appology.
    You owe the world an appology.
    You need to change or be replaced.
    You need to explain Safarov’s exterdition.

    And to Azerbaijan:

    Won’t get away with this or any other cowardous actions plotted against Armenians. All those masterminded Safarov’s freedom desreve the same paunishment as Sarfarov.
    And for Aliev:
    He maybe a hero for the few in his cult of liers, haters, killers, and murderers along with other lunetics. But to the world he is a dictator obsessed with power and retaliation who brain washes his people to hate. Once again proven to be pure failure.
    Azerbaijan, there is nothing to celliborate about.

  11. Dear Friends
    I hope that You have realized that Mr. Sarksyan was not and is not a legal and legitimate President! Mr. Sarksyan’s hysterical attacks on Hungary was a well-prepared for simple people trick. Ilham Aliyev and Sarksyan have been keeping secret concessions to each other for a long period of time in order to support each other in presidential elections. Cursing Hungary, Mr. Sarksyan did NOT utter a single word about the real enemies. Did You noticed that? And don’t You see how friendly Mr. Sarksyan and Mr. Aliyev are toward each other? They are talking secretly and eating together, but True Armenians are dying on the frontline or on the border as well as are leaving their homeland.

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