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Jailed Armenian Opposition Activist Released In Amnesty

YEREVAN -- Vahagn Gevorgian will not have to serve his one-year jail sentence thanks to a general amnesty granted to opposition activists in June, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Gevorgian was arrested on April 10 for insulting and assaulting a police officer who was breaking up the regular protests that drew hundreds of supporters of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian.

A police indictment in a Yerevan court claims that Gevorgian, 18, ignored police demands to stop making "obscene comments" about young women walking along a street, a charge Gevorgian compared to "puppet theater."

Gevorgian's lawyer, Vartuhi Elbakian, noted that video of the incident taken by another opposition activist disputes police claims.

However, the court refused to examine the video footage and found Gevorgian guilty.

After the verdict was announced, Gevorgian told RFE/RL that in the last 18 months "no political trial [in Armenia has] ended with a fair verdict."