January 21, 2017 - 15:48 AMT
Armenia Public Council addresses Lukashenko over Lapshin's detention

Armenia's Public Council has sent a letter to Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko over the detention of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, the organization's press representative Ani Gasparyan told reporters on Saturday, January 21.

In mid-December 2016, Lapshin was detained in Minsk on the request of Azerbaijan, where he was included in a black list for a visit to Karabakh "without consent of the Azerbaijani authorities." After the visit, he had entered Azerbaijan through Georgia using a Ukrainian passport. Baku accused the blogger of violation of country's legislation and put him on an international wanted list.

After the prosecutor's office said he would be extradited to Baku, Lapshin signed a letter of apology addressed to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

"We are well aware that the Belarusian president can solve the issue so we have addressed the letter to him," Gasparyan said.

"The letter focuses on two points: first, Lapshin's arrest is a blatant violation of human rights, free speech and movement. Second, the Karabakh conflict doesn't pertain to Armenia and Azerbaijan alone, it refers to the security of the region in general.

"Also, we have mentioned the more than 600 people, declared personae non gratae in Azerbaijan, including five Belarusian nationals."

The letter was prepared on January 17 when the decision to extradite the blogger had yet to be made.

Read also:Blogger detained in Minsk apologizes to Azerbaijan's president