Immediately after the information on the arrest of Alexander Lapshin in Minsk become public, an active work with international human rights organizations and other partners has been initiated by the RA Human Rights Defender.
Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in her official letter addressed to the Human Rights Defender, presented her position over Lapshin’s case.
Specifically, D. Mijatović noted that she has been following the case of Russian blogger and journalist Alexander Lapshin from the time of his detention in Minsk on 15 December 2016.
According to D. Mijatović, she is fully aware that Lapshin faces harsh penalties in Azerbaijan if extradited by the Byelorussian authorities. Therefore she repeatedly communicated with the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Belarus at the OSCE and sent a letter to the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus, expressing her concerns that, if extradited, Lapshin might face unfair treatment in retaliation for his journalistic activity and expression of his views, including on important human rights issues related to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
D. Mijatović has assured A. Tatoyan that she asked the Byelorussian authorities to carefully consider this case, so that Lapshin was not restricted to fulfill his legitimate journalistic activity.
She also stressed that she shall closely follow on further development in this case.
Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia