Protection blogger Alexander Lapshin, which the Belarusian authorities intend to extradite to Azerbaijan, where he is accused of illegally visiting Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, going to re-appeal the decision of the Minsk court.
On Thursday, the Minsk city court refused Lapshin in appealing the decision of the Prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Belarus for his extradition to Azerbaijan. The meeting was held behind closed doors, where you do not let not only members of the Consulate Israel and Russia (Alexander is a citizen of Russia, Israel and Ukraine), but also relatives of a blogger. The press and human rights defenders made only at sentencing, but to communicate with a prisoner no one not allowed, including lawyers. As reported by his wife Catherine, her husband was guarded by six law enforcement officers and diligently “protected” from prying eyes. Head of the consular Department of the Russian Embassy in Belarus Igor Karyagin said that his lawyers will again appeal the verdict, but after the Supreme Republican court. However, the likelihood that the re-appeal will give its results is minimal. Time is very much running out. The Prosecutor’s office of Belarus issued its decision on the evening of the 17th, and the document on acquaintance, Alexander provided only 18th. Accordingly, given a ten-frame, the defense had only one day to appeal to the high court! Lawyers for the blogger-traveler refuse to communicate with the press as they take a subscription about nondisclosure, and the Russian Consul could not tell exactly filed an appeal or not. However, as the Azeri press statement to appeal the court’s decision have been filed — February 4 should be re-meeting, but Baku has no doubt that the re-appeal will also be rejected and even sent a plane for the extradition of the blogger. According to Igor Karyagin, despite the difficult situation, the Russian Embassy has its finger on the pulse and is in constant contact with Lapshin.
“No interference for communication with Alexander the Belarusian authorities we do not create. We make sure that his legal rights are respected. Regularly visit him in jail. He personally, no complaints on detention conditions, we did not show” — said Igor Karyagin.
However, his wife, Ekaterina Lapshina, which currently runs his blog, said that he was subjected to psychological pressure. According to her, shortly before the decision on extradition of Alexander was transferred to another cell, where the conditions of detention in the worst times. In addition, it is quite often frequented by employees of certain power structures, which “drip on the brain” and demanded voluntarily to sign the extradition, since no one plant in the Baku prison will not, and will simply give into the hands of the Israeli diplomats. Because Baku does not want to spoil relations with Moscow and Jerusalem. However, the most interesting thing about such “intentions” of the Jewish state at the Israeli Embassy, no one knew.
Recall that Alexander Lapshin was detained December 16, 2016 in Minsk at the request of Baku. Azerbaijan accuses the blogger to visit Nagorno-Karabakh without their permission, and also calls to recognise the Republic’s independence. According to the laws of Azerbaijan Lapshin faces up to 8 years in prison.