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Armenian Nationalist Leader Claims He Was Beaten By Police Chief

Opposition activist Shant Harutiunian (center) leads an antigovernment demonstration in Yerevan on November 5.
YEREVAN -- The leader of Armenia's nationalist Tsegakron party, Shant Harutiunian, has accused Armenia's police chief of beating him after he and his supporters were detained earlier this week.

Opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian, who visited Harutiunian in custody on November 6, said that Harutiunian told him that Vladimir Gasparian had severely beaten him.

Gasparian denied the claim in an interview with RFE/RL, saying, "If I had beaten him, nothing would have been left of him."

Harutiunian, his son, and 18 of his supporters were arrested after clashes between police and dozens of nationalists, who threw firecrackers while trying to march to the presidential office building in Yerevan on November 5, planning to organize what they called a "revolution in Armenia."

They were charged with violence against authorities and damage to property.

Four police officers injured in the clashes remain in hospital.