OTTAWA, Canada—Canadian-Armenian youth from across the country gathered in Ottawa to hold demonstrations at the Hungarian and Azerbaijani Embassies on Sept. 7, protesting the release, pardoning, and promotion of Azerbaijani axe-murderer Ramil Safarov. The demonstration began at the Hungarian Embassy, after which demonstrators marched to the Azerbaijani Embassy, where they continued their protest.
Representatives from the various Canadian youth organizations spoke out about the dangerous precedent Hungary and Azerbaijan have set by extraditing and pardoning a convicted murderer. Demonstrators also condemned the lionizing of Safarov in Azerbaijan and demanded that it put an end to its racist, anti-Armenian and belligerent rhetoric. At the Hungarian Embassy, Daron Keskinian, a member of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada Central Executive, outlined the demands of the participants. “We urge the international community to join us in demanding an apology from the Hungarian government and asking for the rescission of their immoral decision on extradition,” said Keskinian. Alek Ohanian, a member of “Armen Karo” Student Association, read a letter addressed to László Pordány, the ambassador of Hungary to Canada, which was later delivered to embassy officials.
At the Azerbaijani Embassy, Karnig Hasserjian, also a member of the AYF Canada Central Executive, spoke about the implications of Safarov’s release regarding the Nagarno-Karabagh conflict. “The pardoning of Safarov is further evidence that Azerbaijan is not negotiating in good faith, and that it intends on enticing violence and hatred in an eventual military invasion of Karabagh.”