12:43 20/12/2016

Israeli Foreign Ministry’s attempts to prevent blogger Lapshin’s extradition to Azerbaijan over visiting NKR under the spotlight of Israeli media

Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was arrested in Belarus at the request of the Azerbaijani government, faces extradition to Azerbaijan over his visits to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Israel is negotiating for his release, Haaretz reports.

It is noted in the article that Alexander Lapshin wrote several critical posts against Azerbaijan and its president, IlhamAliyev, in recent months. His family is afraid that if he is extradited to Azerbaijan, his wife will be in danger.

Lapshin writes a blog in which he records his travels throughout the world. On December 13, he and his wife arrived in the Belarus capital, Minsk. A day later, Lapshin wrote on his Facebook page that he had been arrestedat the request of Azerbaijan. He faces sentence from five to eight years of imprisonment.

It is reminded that after his visits to NKR in 2011 and 2012, Lapshin’s name was placed on Baku government’s blacklist; however, last June he entered Azerbaijan, using a Ukrainian passport. In subsequent blog posts, Lapshin criticized the poverty in certain parts of the capital, Baku; the dictatorial rule of President Aliyev, and his politics in the Karabakh issue.

The Azerbaijani prosecutor general issued an international warrant for Lapshin’s arrest not only because of his visits to NKR, but also because of his posts, in which he expressed his support for the independence of the region.

It is highlighted that Israeli politician KseniaSvetlova from the Zionist Union is assisting Lapshin and his family. Last week, she told Haaretz that he had been detained in a state investigation facility with the threat of extradition to Azerbaijan hanging over him. She turned to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and asked them to intervene in order to try to secure Lapshin’s release and prevent his extradition to Azerbaijan. The Israeli Embassy in Minsk already met with Lapshin’s wife and has yet to visit Lapshin to check on his situation. Lapshin’s friends confirmed that the embassy is in contact with the Lapshins and is trying to help them.

“I turned to the Foreign Ministry and asked them to help Lapshin, as they are obliged to help Israeli citizens in distress. I feel things are being conducted very slowly so far. There’s a genuine threat that they will extradite him to Azerbaijan this week, and I expect the Foreign Ministry to exercise all its influence in order to prevent that – because it’s liable to endanger his life,”Svetlova said.

In his turn, a senior Foreign Ministry official said that the Israeli embassy in Minsk officially asked the Belarus Foreign Ministry to allow the Israeli consul to meet Lapshin and demanded authorities “not to take irreversible steps” – meaning not to extradite him to Azerbaijan. 

The Israeli Foreign Ministry is concerned that the blogger’s arrest will create tensions between Israel and Azerbaijan. Lapshinwas arrested in Minsk a day after the visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Baku, where he met Aliyev. 

It is also noted that Lapshin’s lawyer is currently working to secure his release, until any discussion takes place over his possible extradition to Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, the head of the Azerbaijani Human Rights Center, EldarZeynalov, told the website EkhoKavkaza that Lapshinwas arrested, probably because a warm relationship has been formed between Azerbaijan and Belarus recently. According to him, the two countries are similar in their approach to the criticism, freedom of expression, and they have possibly hit it off.

In Zeynalov’s opinion, Alexander Lapshin could have annoyed not Azerbaijan, but the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. In order to avoid international criticism, Lukashenko could have made an agreement with Azerbaijan on giving Lapshin to Baku, if the latter takes the critic away from his view.

Meanwhile, Israel Info writes that after his visit to Azerbaijan, well-known blogger Alexander Lapshinpublished a fragment from the Azerbaijani blacklist in his blog sent him by his friends:
“… my Azerbaijani friends write that their stupid Foreign Ministry awarded me up to four citizenships and moved my name from the 112th to the 16th place in the list. I watch and laugh like a horse, I can’tget this straight in my head that the whole Azerbaijani state is fighting against a blogger… I feel that the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry created a separate department for studying Sasha Lapshin, and hundreds of officials are working there with their black limos.”

It is emphasized that Lapshin assumes that very text became the reason for launching a criminal case against him in Azerbaijan, and it looks quite sensible.

“However, issuing an international warrant for arrest for similar offence and the actions of the Belarus authorities, who arrested a foreign citizen based on such ‘serious’ suspicion of a third country, are rather confirming Lapshin’s unflattering comments about the state structures of both countries,” the material reads.

Reportedly, the Israeli tourists should take into consideration that they are not secure from the authorities’ arbitrariness in “friendly” Belarus and Azerbaijan.

Blogger and traveler Alexander Lapshin earlier caused a wave of disturbance in Azerbaijan because of his posts from Baku, in which he wrote about the city’s slums, as well as his visit to Azerbaijan, where he had been included in the so-called blacklist of the Foreign Ministry for visiting the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Back in 2011, Lapshin called the blacklist of the Foreign Ministry an empty prop and warned that he would quietly visit Azerbaijan when necessary. Since his name had been included in the blacklist, he visited Azerbaijan twice, in 2012 and in June of 2016.

He particularly wrote about several nuances of the morally outworn working system of Azerbaijan’s border police, the database of which does not operate online, and the data exchange between various border-crossing points is carried out, in fact, in manual mode, which played into Lapshin’s hands.
Lapshin noted with irony that he could not get it straight in his head that “the whole Azerbaijani state is fighting against a blogger.” He also promised to visit Azerbaijan in 2017, and the authorities would quite probably “blow off” his visit again.

Besides, he wrote that he is disappointed by the country named Azerbaijan, which “fell into the hands of dullards, who defame not only the country’s image, but also the memory of their own dead.”
On December 15, it became known that Lapshin was detained in the Belarus capital at the request of Azerbaijan according to the article “public appeals directed against the state.” Pre-trial detention constituting a preventive measure of 2 months has been issued against the blogger.

Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Tomorrow is the Eve of the Fast of the Holy Cross of Varague
Tomorrow is the Sunday preceding the week prior to the feast of the Appearance of the Holy Cross on the Mount Varague, lasting from Monday to...
Air temperature to go down by 8-10 degrees in the coming days
Rain with thunderstorm is predicted on September 22 in separate regions of Armenia, Hydromet meteorological center at the ministry of emergency...
Over 120 ceasefire violations reported at Artsakh borderline during the past week
The Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact over 95 times in the past week, the...
Famous opera singer Anna Kasian, State Symphony Orchestra to perform joint concert in Yerevan
Famous  Armenia opera singer, soprano Anna Kasyan will perform in Yerevan, at Aram Khachatryan Concert Hall on September 23 accompanied by...
“Hero of Our Times” award ceremony held in Gyumri’s Black Fortress
Award ceremony entitled “Hero of Our Times” was held on Saturday in Gyumri Black Fortress as part of Armenia’s 28th...
PM congratulates Maltese counterpart on National holiday
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of Malta on the country’s Independence...
Davit Babayan: Azerbaijani saboteurs’ return to Baku may have serious consequences
On July 17, 2014, 17-year-old Smbat Tsakalyan was buried in a cemetery at one of Karvachar villages next to his grandfather. Tsakalyan had been...
Ukraine boycotts upcoming PACE session
A Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to PACE will not attend the upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE),...
Putin, Trump send greetings on Armenia’s Independence Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent greetings to President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian and the country’s Prime Minister Nikol...
“Yeva” drama receives special award at Venice film festival sidelines
Armenian-Iranian drama “Yeva” received a special award of  the International Art and Public Activity Biennale in the sidelines...
UN chief stresses negative impact of climate change on world peace
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday highlighted the negative impact of climate change on world peace. At a ceremony to mark World...
Military parade underway in Berd border town
A festive event and military parade started at Berd dedicated to the 28th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence. A snippets from the event...
Gyumri hosting main celebrations of Independence Day
The main celebrations of the 28th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence is taking place in the country’s second largest city,...
Over 200 flights cancelled in Japan over Typhoon
Japanese airlines cancelled 204 flights in the southern and southwestern parts of the country over the approaching typhoon of Tapah, ...
Tbilisi billboards display messages with the theme of Armenia’s Independence
On the 28th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence, billboards across Georgia’s capital Tbilisi display messages on Intendance day...
Armenia’s highest leadership visited the Yerablur Pantheon
On the 28th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan joined President of the Republic of...
Armenia marks the 28th anniversary of Independence
The Republic of Armenia marks the 28th anniversary of Independence on September 21. The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the...
Aronian draws in the first game of quarterfinals at World Cup 2019
Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian played draw on Friday with a Vietnamese chess player Lê Quang Liêm  in the first game of the...
Ara Guler photo exhibition to open in Japan
A selection of photos taken by legendary Turkish-Armenian photographer Ara Guler, who passed away last October, will be on display in New York...
Media reports: Russia considers termination of the railway operation contract in Armenia
Russia’s South Caucasus Railways company which is the rail operator of Armenia is considering  plans to terminate the contract with...
Dubai's Burj Khalifa to light up with Armenian flag on Independence Day
The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Vice President of UAE and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai...
Yerevan court rejects motion to release Robert Kocharyan on bail
The Yerevan court of general instance rejected on Friday the motion brought  by second President Robert Kocharyan’s defense team to...
all.me digital platform becomes WCIT 2019 Special Partner
The innovative digital platform all.me will join the ranks of official partners for the World Congress on Information Technology 2019, which...
Armenia’s U-17 football team loses friendly to Cyprus
An international friendly match between the U-17 national teams of Cyprus and Armenia took place at Amochostos stadium in Larnaca on September...
Armenian parliament adopts VAT debit return bill
The Armenian National Assembly passed in the first reading on Friday a government-drafted bill on making amendments and addenda to the...
Superstar French cellist Gautier Capuçon to perform in Armenia
Superstar French cellist Gautier Capuçon will perform a concert in Armenia on the sidelines of the 20th jubilee edition of the Yerevan...
Kocharyan’s lawyers appeal arrest ruling
The defense team of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan has appealed the ruling of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction of...
Environmental lawyer insists fight against Amulsar mine operation aims to help government
Environmental lawyer Nazeli Vardanyan insists all the permits for the operation of the Amulsar gold mine have been issued in a gross violation...
Iran's Zarif questions U.S. coalition for 'peaceful resolution' in Middle East
Iran’s foreign minister on Friday questioned U.S. plans for a coalition for a “peaceful resolution” in the Middle East while...
Defense minister: Exchange of Armenian captives with Azerbaijani saboteurs not ruled out
Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan on Friday did not rule out the possible exchange of Armenian captives with Azerbaijani saboteurs. In...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}