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Armenian Ex-Official Turned Activist Jailed

Armenians rally to commemorate the victims of police violence during presidential elections, in Yerevan, in March.
YEREVAN -- A prominent Armenian opposition activist and former deputy prosecutor-general has been given a three-year jail sentence in a Yerevan court, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Gagik Jahangirian was detained on February 23 after he accused authorities of rigging the presidential election during a speech at an opposition rally in the capital.

He reiterated the charge in the weeks leading up to his conviction on March 23, saying that authorities deliberately used lethal force against opposition protesters, and illegally arrested dozens of opposition candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian loyalists.

The judge said Jahangirian's activities posed a "high degree of public danger." His lawyer, Lusine Sahakian, told RFE/RL that the verdict is "illegal" but that "we never expected justice from the court." Sahakian said Jahangirian will appeal the ruling.

Eight demonstrators were killed during protests that followed last year's presidential election, won by Serzh Sarkisian.