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Israeli blogger released from Azerbaijan prison says he was tortured

The Israeli-Russian blogger who arrived in Israel following his pardon and release from prison in Azerbaijan says he was tortured and attacked during his incarceration.

Alexander Lapshin landed at Ben-Gurion Airport this afternoon and was taken to hospital for a round of checks after claiming he was feeling unwell.

Lapshin was facing three years behind bars for traveling to an out-of-bounds area in Armenia, but on Monday, the office of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said that he was pardoning Lapshin, who had petitioned to be extradited to Israel.

Lapshin was greeted at the airport by his family and Zionist Union Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova, who was involved in efforts to help the blogger and his family.

In messages to Svetlova, the contents of which were published in the Hebrew press, Lapshin said he was met with threats from the very first moments of his detainment in Baku.

He told the MK he was questioned on alleged cooperation with Russian intelligence and Armenian intelligence against Azerbaijan.

“They tortured me and attacked me and then came the pardon,” he wrote.

Russian-Ukrainian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, seen in a September 2014 video. (Screen capture: YouTube)

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