Blogger Alexander Lapshin’s extradition will not prevent the visits to Artsakh, Spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
“Alexander Lapshin’s persecution and his extradition to Azerbaijan amount to a gross violation of the freedom of speech and movement and fundamental human rights,” Tigran Balayan said.
According to him, this is yet another testament to the deep gap between dictatorship and democracy.
“Definitely, the visits of political, public and culture figures, journalists an tourists to Artsakh will not stop and will even multiply,” the Spokesperson said.
On December 15, 2016, police in Belarus detained Mr. Lapshin, a popular travel blogger based in Moscow, for his prior visits to the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and for his criticism of the Aliyev regime.
Alexander Lapshin, who holds Russian and Israeli citizenship, was detained in Minsk in December 2016 at the request of Azerbaijan for his prior visits to Nagorno Karabakh.
On 20 January 2017 the General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus decided to have Mr. Lapshin extradited to Azerbaijan. An appeal to the ruling was recently denied by Minsk City Court.
The Supreme Court of Belarus ruled to leave the decision of the Prosecutor General’s office on Lapshin’s extradition to Azerbaijan in force.
Lapshin has been flown to Azerbaijan, where he faces charges related to his trip to Nagorno Karabakh.