Blogger Lapshin departs from Azerbaijan to Israel

Blogger Alexander Laphsin, who was granted a pardon by the Azerbaijani president on Monday, has left the country, TASS reports.

On September 11, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order pardoning Lapshin, who had been sentenced to three years behind bars over his visit to Artsakh.

In late July, Lapshin, who holds Russian and Israeli passports, requested the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry that he be extradited to Israel.

Lapshin was detained in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in December 2016 at Baku’s request. Azerbaijan accused him of visiting the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region without the Azeri authorities’ permission. He was flown to Baku and handed over to the Azerbaijani State Security Service. The Azerbaijani prosecutors launched a criminal case against Lapshin over his “repeated public anti-state calls” and “illegal crossing of Azerbaijan’s state border.”

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