Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 July

Alexander Lapshin’s extradition is disgrace – Armenian MP

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 8, ARMENPRESS. The extradition of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin from Belarus to Azerbaijan is a disgrace, MP Karen Bekaryan – Chairman of the “European Integration” NGO, told “Armenpress”.

“Taking into account the behavior of Belarus, the situation of democracy in that country, the extradition decision was not unexpected. Nevertheless, this is shameful and a disgraceful act. What will be the consequences of this step? It will significantly escalate the situation and will greatly impact the possible trust measures we are talking about for years. In other words, if we regularly speak about installing trust measures in the settlement process of the Karabakh conflict, in this case we saw that Belarus not only doesn’t bring its contribution to that process, but also greatly impacts that trust measures, and I don’t think it acts unconsciously. This means that this is a big problem, and we will witness its global consequences. It will open a range of quite more issues”, Bekaryan said.

Alexander Lapshin, the Russian-Israeli blogger who was extradited from Belarus to Azerbaijan on February 7, has been placed in the isolation cell in Azerbaijan’s state security service.

Lapshin was flown to Baku from Minsk on a special flight, escorted by state security agents. A group of reporters were waiting for Lapshin in Baku’s airport, but Lapshin didn’t give any comment to them.

A news correspondent reported from the airport that Lapshin is in a serious mental condition and he didn’t respond to the questions of journalists.

The Belarus Supreme Court denied Lapshin’s appeal on the extradition verdict issued by the General Prosecutor of Belarus.

Lapshin faces up to 5 years imprisonment in Azerbaijan, under charges of “public calls against the state”, and “unauthorized crossing of borders”.

Belarus police arrested Alexander Lapshin on December 15, 2016 in Minsk. Lapshin, a Russian and Israeli citizen, resides in Moscow and writes for the famous Russian Travel Blog. He is wanted by Azerbaijan for visiting Nagorno Karabakh in 2011, 2012 and 2016, and criticizing Azerbaijan’s policy in his blog.

Baku demanded the extradition of Lapshin from Belarus.

Earlier it was reported that the Deputy Prosecutor General of Belarus has made a decision to uphold the request of Azerbaijan’s General Prosecutor on extraditing Citizen of Russia and Israel Alexander Lapshin, who is wanted for violating Articles 281.2 and 318.2 of Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on February 3 : “Belarus has no grounds to not extradite Lapshin to Azerbaijan”. He said the issue will be solved based on law and international agreements.

The Russian foreign ministry said it is inadmissible to extradite Russian citizens to third countries.


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