French MP Asks President Hollande to Use Influence in Freeing Lapshin


PARIS (Armenpress) — Member of French National Assembly, Co-chair of Armenia-France Parliamentary Friendship Group François Rochebloine drew the attention of French President Hollande on the case of the extradition of blogger Aleksander Lapshin this week. “

He wrote a letter to Hollande, noting the reason of the detention and extradition of the blogger is his criticism pf Baku’s political regime and his visit to Artsakh.

“With no means for a legal protection remaining, Lapshin was extradited to Azerbaijan and immediately arrested. By extraditing Lapshin to Azerbaijan Belarus violated the international convention against torture, the second article of which stresses that no state should extradite anyone to another state if it has substantial grounds to think that the person will be tortured. And this risk exists in Azerbaijan, since this country has been condemned several times by the international organizations and the UN over human rights violations. You should yourself assess this fact since you awarded Leyla Yunus, who contracted serious health problems being kept in Azerbaijani jails, with the ‘Legion of Honor’ medal,” Rochebloine wrote.

Lapshin, the Russian-Israeli blogger who was extradited from Belarus to Azerbaijan on February 7, has been placed in an isolation cell. The Belarus Supreme Court denied Lapshin’s appeal on the extradition verdict issued by the General Prosecutor of Belarus. Lapshin faces up to 5 years’ imprisonment in Azerbaijan, under charges of “public calls against the state” and “unauthorized crossing of borders”.

The Council of Europe Platform will also promote the protection of Lapshin and seek his release.