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Armenian Rights Activist Released From Jail

Human rights campaigner Arshaluys Hakobian
YEREVAN -- An Armenian human rights activist imprisoned this summer over a controversial incident with the police has been released, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Arshaluys Hakobian told reporters after his release that "it's the policemen who should have been on trial."

Hakobian, who works for the nongovernmental organization Armenian Helsinki Association (AHA), was arrested on June 5 and charged with public drunkenness and assaulting a police officer.

He says the incident was provoked by the authorities in revenge for his political activities and he claimed he was beaten at the Yerevan police station where he was held.

AHA Chairman Mikael Danielian told RFE/RL that he "had no good expectations [for the trial]." But he said the case presented by Hakobian's defense lawyer "testified to Arshaluys's innocence," and that he was subsequently released.

The charges against Hakobian could have carried a five-year prison sentence.