The Azerbaijani authorities are still making attempts to arrest blogger Alexander Lapshin.
This is what Lapshin wrote on his Facebook page.
“People, let me tell you what happened to me. Yesterday Armenian mass media outlets published and broadcast my statements in which I talked about Baku’s attempt to arrest me in the region near the Baltic states.
On December 12, 2019, Azerbaijani Talish blogger Elvin Isayev was abducted in Kiev and taken to Baku, circumventing Ukrainian border guards. Some sources say the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine denies his extradition to Azerbaijan. I personally don’t know Isayev. We’re not friends, and the only thing that connects us is the short letters that we wrote to each other about where it is better for him to emigrate from Russia in order to be safe. It was on that day that the State Security Service of Azerbaijan tried to abduct not only Isayev in Kiev, but also in Riga.
On December 12, the day of Isayev’s abduction, I was in London and was going to the airport to fly to Vilnius and from there to Riga. People called me and said they needed to talk to me before I got on the plane. The last time I had talked to those people was two years ago. I was told that the State Security Service of Azerbaijan had sent inquiries about my detention. They told me I had to be careful and that it would be nice, if I canceled all my plans and didn’t go to Latvia and Lithuania where corrupt officials have strong ties with Azerbaijan. The inquiry doesn’t oblige the authorities of those countries to arrest me, but they have to provide Baku with information about my entry and exit.
I took their advice and flew to the near Baltic states. However, I had to refuse to participate in the tourism conference held yesterday (December 15) in Riga. I had been told that the Embassy of Azerbaijan would most likely send people for monitoring in Riga. They had sent two people who didn’t enter and were standing near the entrance. There was a car parked two streets down from the hotel, and it was declared that it was stolen. It was likely that I was going to be taken in that car. It is clear that I don’t have the video recordings, and I found out about all this post-factum. I don’t know if those people were employees of the embassy or active members of the Azerbaijani community.
I have no other information. Whatever I say from now on is my personal assumptions. In my opinion, the State Security of Azerbaijan understands that there is no sense in declaring a search for me via Interpol. At least three countries and several large non-governmental organizations are seriously interested in seeing me in Baku. There is also a case against the authorities of Azerbaijan in the European Court of Human Rights with the charge of assassination attempt. Besides, I was in the general commissariat of Interpol in Lyon in March of last year, and they know about me. What were the Azerbaijanis thinking about? They understand that even inquiries will guarantee neither arrest nor future extradition.
In London, I was asked why the Azerbaijanis need me, and I didn’t know what to say since I pose no threat to Baku. I assumed that Aliyev has something really personal with me. They didn’t say anything else.
That’s all for now.”