Azerbaijan’s president pardons imprisoned Israeli-Russian blogger

After an Azerbaijani court sentenced Alexander Lapshin to three years for crossing the border into Nagorno-Karabakh without a permit, the Israeli-Russian blogger was pardoned by Azerbaijan’s president. Lapshin was arrested in 2016 in Belarus and then extradited to Azerbaijan.
Lapshin Photo Credit: Caucasian Knot/Channel 2 News

On Monday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Alexander Lapshin, an Israeli-Russian blogger who was sentenced to three years in prison. In July, the court found him innocent of the charge of criticizing the Azerbaijani government online but convicted him of crossing the border into Nagorno-Karabakh without a permit.

The judge explained that he did not accept the prosecution’s demand to hand down a 6.5-year sentence because Lapshin does not have a criminal record and he is the father.

Lapshin, a Haifa resident who holds Israeli, Russian and Ukrainian citizenships, was arrested in Belarus in 2016 after an indictment was filed against him in Azerbaijan. According to the indictment, he criticized the Azerbaijani government and called on the country to grant Nagorno-Karabakh’s demand for independence.

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