Blogger Lapshin’s extradition not on agenda yet, advocate says

Panorama, Armenia

The extradition of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was sentenced to 3 years in prison by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes in Azerbaijan, is not on the agenda yet, Lapshin's advocate Eduard Chernin announced, according to RIA Novosti.

The advocate explained that his extradition is not possible at the moment since the court ruling has not entered into force, adding that the defense has not decided yet to appeal the verdict or not.

“He [Lapshin] is still being kept at the Baku detention facility since the verdict has not entered into force yet. I am meeting with him in the next week, afterwards it will become clear whether we will appeal the court verdict or not. Lapshin has not made up his mind in this respect yet,” the advocate added.

To remind, Alexander Lapshin was extradited from Belarus to Azerbaijan in February, where he was wanted after visiting the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) and criticizing the Azerbaijani leadership.

Azerbaijani prosecutors launched a criminal case into “repeated public anti-state calls” and “illegal crossing of Azerbaijan’s state border,” punishable with a prison term of five to eight years.

The extradition and persecution against Lapshin was widely slammed by international community as a gross violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of speech and movement.

On July 20, the Baku Court of Grave Crimes sentenced the blogger to 3 years in prison.

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