YEREVAN -- A court in Yerevan has extended the pre-trial custody of prominent Armenian opposition figure Nikol Pashinian, who faces charges connected with last year's postelection unrest.
RFE/RL’s Armenian Service reports that the decision to extend Pashinian’s pre-trial detention was made on August 27 in a three-hour, closed-door proceeding.
The Special Investigation Service had requested the extension. Pashinian, who is editor of the pro-opposition daily “Haykakan Zhamanak,” is charged with organizing “mass riots” and unsanctioned demonstrations as well as defying “representatives of the state authority.”
The 34-year-old Pashinian was one of the most influential and passionate speakers at the anti-government protests staged by opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian last year. He and several other opposition figures went into hiding following the violent suppression of those protests on March 1-2, 2008.
Pashinian turned himself in to Armenian law-enforcement officials on July 1 in response to an amnesty and soon after was remanded into a two-month pre-trial custody.