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Armenian Opposition Politician Goes On Trial

Armenian opposition politician Andreas Ghukasian (file photo)

YEREVAN -- The trial of Armenian opposition politician Andreas Ghukasian on charges of organizing mass disturbances opened in Yerevan on August 2.

Ghukasian -- a leader of the civic movement Rise Up, Armenia -- was arrested in August 2016 after mass antigovernment rallies in the Armenian capital.

More than 30 members of the Daredevils Of Sassoun (Sasna Tsrer) armed group seized a police station in Yerevan's Erebuni district on July 17, 2016, and held it for more than two weeks.

They demanded the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of Zhirayr Sefilian, the leader of the radical opposition movement Founding Parliament.

Thousands of the gunmen's supporters joined nightly rallies for two weeks, occasionally clashing with police.

The gunmen surrendered to police on July 31, 2016. Several dozen activists were arrested during the events and are currently facing trial.

The violence claimed the lives of two police officers.