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Two Young Armenian Activists Given Suspended Sentences

Opposition activists Davit Kiramijian, left, and Sargis Gevorgian have been given two-year suspended sentences for altercations with police in May.
YEREVAN -- Two Armenian opposition youth activists received two-year suspended sentences today for an altercation with police in May, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Davit Kiramijian, 19, and Sargis Gevorgian, 18, were among at least 15 people detained on May 31 in Yerevan in clashes between several dozen supporters of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) and police who sought to prevent them staging a protest on the city's Liberty Square.

The two are members of HAK's youth wing.

Gevorgian was found guilty of shoving a police officer and tearing off one of his epaulettes in an attempt to impede Kiramijian's arrest. Kiramijian was found guilty of "group hooliganism."

The police and prosecutors claim that Kiramijian verbally abused and beat up a passerby together with several other HAK activists

Both men denied the accusations throughout the five-month trial. "That the ruling will be illegal and unfounded was evident right from the start of the trial," Gevorgian told RFE/RL after the verdict was announced.

Kiramjian said. "It wasn't a surprise."