Alexander Lapshin was detained in Minsk last night on a request from Azerbaijan’s authorities.

The blogger and traveller wrote it in a Facebook post at around 1am (Minsk time). There has been no contact with Lapshin since then.

Lapshin’s numerous trips to Nagorno-Karabakh without official permission from Baku are named as a possible reason for the arrest. In 2011, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry added him to the blacklist for that reason. The country’s authorities are reported to have put Alexander Lapshin on an international wanted list for crossing the border illegally, as they claim.

The blogger is a citizen of Russia, Israel, Ukraine and Canada. He is reported to have violated the ban last year and entered Azerbaijan from Georgia using his Ukrainian passport. Azerbaijan accuses Lapshin of supporting Nagorno-Karabakh separatists who struggle to join Armenia and of biased reporting of the situation in the region.

Alexander Lapshin has a blog on the website of Echo of Moscow radio, writes about his journeys on Livejournal and for Ukrainian news website Obozrevatel. He has visited 122 countries, reporting on local culture, customs, social and political events. Officials of Belarus and Azerbaijan are reported to be in talks on the blogger’s extradition to Baku.

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