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Belarus to Extradite Blogger Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan

23.01.2017 Source: According to Interfax-Zapad, translation by BAJ

As reported on January 20, the Belarusian General prosecutor’s office ruled to extradite Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan, where he is accused of separatism.

Azerbaijan’s Investigative Committee has brought charges against the blogger according to art. 281.2 of the Criminal Code (repeated public calls against the state) and 318.2 (trespassing state border of Azerbaijan by a group of persons in collusion or by an organized group with either violence or with threat of violence). The articles envisage up to eight years in prison.

Being a foreign citizen, in April 2011 and October 2012 Alexander Lapshin visited the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Azerbaijan is treating as its occupied territory, without an official permit. In April and June 2016, he also publicly supported independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

Information about detention and potential extradition of the blogger appeared on December 16.

Last Tuesday, the Minister of the Interior of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov spoke against the extradition.

Alexander Lapshin has the right to appeal against the decision on extradition either by himself or with a lawyer.

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