00:37 GMT29 January 2020
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    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a press release on Thursday urging Baku to release Alexander Lapshin, a Russian-Israeli blogger, who was sentenced to three years in prison in Azerbaijan for traveling to the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "Aleksandr Lapshin should not be in jail for traveling to a disputed region. We call on authorities in Baku not to contest the journalist's appeal and to release him unconditionally," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said as quoted in the press release.

    Earlier in the day, a court in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku sentenced Lapshin to three years in prison. Lapshin was detained in Belarus in December 2016 and extradited to Azerbaijan in February. He is accused of violating border control rules by traveling to Nagorno-Karabakh in mid-2015, as well as of "openly appealing against the state of Azerbaijan."

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    Tags:
    sentence, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Alexander Lapshin, Russia, Azerbaijan
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