Blogger Alexander Lapshin. Photo: Stanislav Gorbunov

20 January 2017, 16:38

Belarus agrees to extradite blogger Lapshin to Azerbaijan

The blogger Alexander Lapshin should be deported to Azerbaijan to hold accountable for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, the General Prosecutor's Office (GPO) of Belarus has decided.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in December 2016 Lapshin was detained in Minsk on the request of the Azerbaijani party, which had put him on the "black list". The official Baku accuses the blogger of visiting the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Azerbaijan is treating as its occupied territory, and of public statements in support of the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). Activists and public figures of Armenia have called on to prevent the extradition of the blogger, treating his case as a threat to the freedom of speech.

Today, the General Prosecutor's Office (GPO) of Belarus has announced that it had decided to extradite Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan.

Israel and Russia, where Lapshin has its citizenship, are against the blogger's extradition. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs) of both countries made respective statements, the "Meduza" reports.

So far, the Lapshin's advocates have received only an excerpt from the decision of the Belarus' GPO, but not the full text of the decision, as Ara Zograbyan, the head of the Bar Association of Armenia, wrote on the Facebook. He pointed out that a special working group in the Bar is dealing with the issue and is going to provide Alexander Lapshin with legal assistance within the bounds of its capabilities.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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