BAKU (RFE/RL and AP) — Russian-Israeli travel blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was sentenced to three years behind bars in Azerbaijan, was released on Tuesday, September 12, Lapshin’s lawyer, Eduard Chernin said, according to RIA Novosti.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on the previous day pardoning the blogger.
“Lapshin has been released but he is not likely to be deported from Azerbaijan today,” Chernin informed.
“There is an 80-percent probability that Lapshin will not be deported from Azerbaijan today,” he said. “Everything will become clear after midday.”
Lapshin was sentenced by the Baku court on grave crimes on July 20, 2017 over his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh.
The blogger was detained in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in December 2016 at Baku’s request. He was flown to Baku on February 7 and handed over to the Azerbaijani State Security Service.