Blogger jailed in Azerbaijan asks to be extradited to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli blogger who was sentenced to three years in prison in Azerbaijan for illegally entering Nagorno-Karabakh has asked to be extradited to Israel.

Alexander Lapshin, who also holds Russian and Ukrainian citizenship, appealed to Israel to extradite him from Azerbaijan, Haaretz reported, citing Lapshin’s attorney.

He said he did not want to be extradited to Russia because his family, including a young child, is in Israel and he wants to remain in contact with them.

Alexander Lapshin, 40, of Haifa, writes a Russian-language travel blog called Life Adventures that chronicles his trips to 122 countries, as well as his life in Israel.

He traveled twice to Nagorno-Karabakh, which is disputed territory with Armenia, and told a court in Azerbaijan earlier this month that he did not know there was an Azeri law against visiting there. He also insulted Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in his blog, which he told the court he regretted.

He was detained in Belarus last year and extradited to Azerbaijan in February.

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