Lapshin’s Appeal against Extradition to Baku Rejected

Alexander Lapshin in a Minsk courtroom on Jan. 26. (Photo: RFE/RL)
Alexander Lapshin in a Minsk courtroom on Jan. 26. (Photo: RFE/RL)

Alexander Lapshin in a Minsk courtroom on Jan. 26. (Photo: RFE/RL)

MINSK, Belarus—The Minsk Court on January 26 rejected Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin’s appeal against his extradition to Azerbaijan.

“Lapshin now has 10 days to appeal the Minsk City Court’s ruling at Belarus’s Supreme Court, his last legal recourse to avoid extradition,” reported RFE/RL’s Belarus Service.

Lapshin, who lives in Russia and writes a Russian-language travel blog, was arrested in Minsk at the request of Baku authorities on December 15 over his visits to the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic in 2011, 2012 and 2016.

The Belarusian deputy State Prosecutor Alyaksey Stukon January 18 signed an order for the blogger’s extradition.

Statements calling for Lapshin’s release have been issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Russian Foreign Ministry, Israel, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender’s (Ombudsman) Office, and the Artsakh Foreign Ministry.

If Lapshin’s extradition proceeds, he could face up to eight years in Azerbaijani prison.

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