Armenian Police, Belarusian Prosecutor General Confirm Lapshin Has Never Been Internationally Wanted
YEREVAN (A.W.)— Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was extradited to Azerbaijan, has never been on Interpol’s (the International Criminal Police Organization) wanted list, according an advisor to the Chief of Armenian Police Narek Malyan.
“In response to the inquiry of the Republic of Armenia Police, the General Secretariat of Interpol today responded that Alexander Lapshin has neither ever been registered nor put on an international wanted list of Interpol,” Malyan said in a Facebook post on Feb. 9.
Belarus’ Prosecutor General’s office confirmed in a statement that Lapshin has never been internationally wanted. The statement contradicts the claims by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who had said Lapshin had been detained “under the decision of Interpol” in a Feb. 3 interview.
The Belarus Supreme Court rejected Lapshin’s appeal on the extradition verdict issued by the General Prosecutor of Belarus on Feb. 7.
Images of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin being detained in Baku were released by the Interfax news agency just hours after news broke out that the Supreme Court of Belarus rejected his appeal and upheld the decision of the Prosecutor General’s office to extradite him to Azerbaijan.
Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan was quick to condemn the decision to extradite Lapshin. “Demonstrative prosecution of Lapshin is an attack [on] free speech and freedom of movement. Should be condemned in the strongest terms,” Melikyan tweeted, adding, “Lapshin’s case is a black-and-white issue. Oppression v. Freedom. Human Rights defenders and journalists should visit NKR more as a response,” in a separate tweet.