‘Free Lapshin’ Protests Held in Tel Aviv, The Hague

TEL AVIV/THE HAGUE (A.W.)—On Feb. 3, protests were held outside the Embassy of Belarus in Tel Aviv, Israel and The Hague, Netherlands, demanding the release of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was detained by Belarusian authorities at the request of the Azerbaijani Government.

A scene from the Tel Aviv protest

The protest in Tel Aviv, was organized by the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Jerusalem and the “Rostom” Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Jerusalem. Protesters gathered at Jerusalem’s Belarusian Embassy and raised posters that read “Free Lapshin” and “Journalism is not a crime,” according to ANC Jerusalem chair Hagop Sevian.

“We’re protesting for the release of Lapshin. The Consul of Belarus even approached us but had no update regarding the process,” Sevian told reporters. “Nevertheless, he heard us, he inquired about us, and took pictures.”

Sevian also added that he believes that Israel should be careful with its relations with Azerbaijan, which continues to be run by a dictator and has a poor human rights track record.

The protest in The Hague was organized by the ANC of Holland and the “Garegin Njdeh” AYF of the Netherlands. During his speech, ANC and AYF member Sepouh Abrahamian said, “Belarus, we urge you to be humane. We urge you to be righteous. Belarus, show what kind of nation you are. Do not trust the dictatorship that is Azerbaijan. Do not believe Aliyev. Do not believe in the judicial system of Azerbaijan.”

Protestors in The Hague also displayed signs that read “Free Lapshin.”

On Feb. 3, members of AYF of Greece also delivered a letter to the Honorary Consul of Belarus in Thessaloniki demanding Lapshin’s release. The ANC of Greece also sent a letter to the Union of European Journalist asking for a statement on the issue.

Members of AYF of Greece delivering a letter to the Honorary Consul of Belarus in Thessaloniki demanding Lapshin’s release

1 Comment

  1. Since the protest took place in Israel, it might have been wise, as well as respectful, to also fly an Israeli flag at the demonstration in Tel Aviv. Also since Lapshin is an Israeli citizen. I only see 4 Armenian flags.

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