MINSK — Vlad Maga – a travel blogger of Armenian descent who recently visited with a Belarusian passport is receiving threats.
“As expected, the situation is very unstable to put it mildly,” the blogger said in a new YouTube video.
“I came to Azerbaijan with peace, like any other country I visited before. My purpose was to show the people as they are. For some reason, many did not see anything good in it. Everyone just saw negative things, though I showed people who hosted me in their home, gave me bread, helped me with the journey,” the blogger said.
He added that the threats include claims that the video included provocations and that he was paid by some country to defame Azerbaijan.
“I want to make clear once and for all that I’m working exceptionally for my channel, that I’m an ordinary blogger, a 23-year old guy with a camera. This content is not for sale,” he said.
Vlad urged everyone to share the video. “Spread the video, spread my story. Only that way I will be safe,” he said.
Prominent tourism blogger Alexander Lapshin, the Russian-Israeli citizens who came under international media spotlight for being arrested in Belarus and extradited to Azerbaijan after Baku issued an arrest warrant for his “unauthorized visit” to Artsakh, posted Vlad’s on his Facebook page. “The Armenian with a Belarusian passport who was able to arrive in Azerbaijan and reach his parents’ home in Ganja (Kirovabad)”, Lapshin said.
Lapshin said that Azerbaijan bans the entry of ethnic Armenians based on its racist policy.
Speaking about the parents of the man, he said that Armenians fled Ganja during the Karabakh war and their homes were taken by Azerbaijanis. Lapshin notes that Azerbaijani security forces failed to notice the ethnicity of the young man and he was able to film the coverage and return home.
“His short film shows the poverty, evilness, horrible Armenophobia and the nationwide spy-mania in Azerbaijan. The man later went to Armenia and Karabakh,” he said.
He says that the blogger took great risk by doing the coverage in Azerbaijan, because simply walking in Ganja or asking about the homes of Armenians could have led to his murder or arrest.
“We expect an addition to the honorary list, the black list of Azerbaijan,” Lapshin joked.