STEPANAKERT, NKR (A.W.)—Nagorno-Karabagh (NKR/Artsakh) President spokesperson David Babayan recently criticized European organizations for “turning a blind eye” to the extradition and arrest of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin.
“The whole process of Lapshin’s arrest and extradition was being carried out with flagrant violations of international law, whereas the European organizations turned a blind eye to all this,” Babayan told Armenia’s News.am on Feb. 16.
Lapshin was extradited to Baku and arrested by Azerbaijani authorities hours after news broke out that the Supreme Court of Belarus had rejected his appeal and upheld the decision of the Prosecutor General’s office to extradite him to Azerbaijan. Criminal proceedings were initiated by the Azerbaijani authorities against him under Articles 281.2 and 318.2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan (“public appeals against the state”, punishable by up to eight years of imprisonment and “illegal border crossing” punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, respectively).
“Sadly, corruption has penetrated into many organizations; such apathy will not lead to anything good… Europe should not forget about its principles,” Babayan said.
According to the NKR President spokesperson, Azerbaijan had to exert considerable efforts to have Lapshin extradited from Belarus.
Amnesty International made a public statement on Feb. 10, calling for Lapshin’s release. “In Azerbaijan, he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment as well as an unfair trial. The criminal proceedings against Alexander Lapshin should be terminated, and he should be released immediately,” read a part of Amnesty International’s statement.