Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev has commented on some circles’ attempts to link Alexander Lapshin’s case with the freedom of media and movement. Hajiyev said the attempts of the Armenian propaganda, certain circles, and particularly OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic to link Lapshin’s case with the freedom of media or freedom of movement is totally groundless. “The criminal case against Lapshin and his extradition to Azerbaijan, in line with intergovernmental agreements, are a triumph of the rule of law,” said Hajiyev. He said the attempts of Armenia, which attracts foreigners to its criminal acts, to call Lapshin’s case a “violation of media freedom and freedom of movement” are absurd and laughable.
Moscow has made a statement on the extradition of blogger Alexander Lapshin, who holds Russian citizenship, to Azerbaijan. “According to the available information, the Supreme Court of Belarus, having considered the case in a closed session on Feb. 7, dismissed the complaint of the citizen of Russia and Israel Alexander Lapshin against the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus on his extradition to Azerbaijan. The Russian side expresses disappointment with this decision,” reads a message on the website of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We intend to continue taking all the necessary measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of the Russian citizen to quickly return him to his family,” the message said.
The Israeli Embassy in Azerbaijan follows closely the developments in the case of blogger Alexander Lapshin, Amir Rom, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli Embassy said. “We are in contact with the relevant parties through diplomatic and consular channels,” he noted. On Feb. 7, blogger Lapshin was extradited to Azerbaijan from Belarus. Lapshin, who holds Russian, Israeli, and Ukrainian citizenship, paid illegal visits to the occupied Azerbaijani territories in April 2011 and in October 2012, violating Azerbaijan’s laws on the state border and passports. He made statements against Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.