Israeli-Russian blogger given 3-year sentence in Azerbaijan

Alexander Lapshin was wanted by Baku authorities for allegedly traveling to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and for criticizing Azerbaijan's president.

Alexander Lapshin  (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Alexander Lapshin
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
An Azerbaijani court has sentenced Israeli-Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin to three years in prison, local media reported on Thursday.
The Baku Court on Grave Crimes issued the ruling against Lapshin on charges related to alleged visits to the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In February, Belarus extradited Lapshin to Azerbaijan after the Belorussian Supreme Court denied his appeal.
Lapshin, who writes a travel blog in Russian, was detained in Minsk in December 2016 at the request of Azerbaijan.
The popular blogger was wanted by Baku authorities for allegedly traveling to the Armenian-controlled parts of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Azerbaijan considers its sovereign territory and for criticizing the country’s President Ilham Aliyev and his policy.
The 40-year-old blogger holds dual Russian-Israeli citizenship.
Russia and Israel had attempted to prevent Lapshin’s extradition. The Russian Foreign Ministry said at the time that the extradition of Russian citizens to third countries is “inadmissible.”