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Azerbaijan’s president pardons blogger Lapshin

September 11, 2017, 11:06 UTC+3

Russian-Israeli travel blogger Alexander Lapshin was sentenced to three years behind bars

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

BAKU, September 11. /TASS/. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on Monday on pardoning Russian-Israeli travel blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was sentenced to three years behind bars.

The decision on pardoning enters into force on Monday.

Lapshin was sentenced by the Baku court on grave crimes on July 20, 2017 over his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed border region between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Lapshin 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. Azerbaijan’s prosecutors opened criminal cases against him envisaging jail terms of between five and eight years.

Nagorno-Karabakh sought independence from Azerbaijan at the end of the 1980s, which resulted in a war between Azerbaijan and Armenia that claimed the lives of 25,000-30,000 people between 1988 and 1994. Since then, the territory has been controlled by Armenia.

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