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Political Activist on Trial Says He Warned Police They Will Beat Provocateurs

Police officers Khachik Avetisyan (pictured) and Evrik Lonsk, named as victims in the case of political activist Shant Harutyunyan and his friends, said in court today that they didn't see a doctor on November 5 (the day of the defendants' arrest): during the incident, they only experienced slight irritation in the eyes, which didn't last long. 

Police Colonel Avetisyan said that Shant Harutyunyan's friends charged with violence against a government representative also beat people in civilian clothes, but when they were warned that those whom they were beating were police officers, the protestors continued to attack, saying, "They're police, hit them."

Avetisyan said that though his colleagues warned organizers that the march must proceed on the sidewalk, he personally didn't hear that.

The police officer was unable to answer attorney Hovhannes Kocharyan's question on which legal act prohibits holding a march on the road. Judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan, however, removed the question from the records, insisting that now is not the time to check the victim's legal knowledge. 

Avetisyan admitted that the police are obliged to ensure the march's progress on the road, if march organizers ask them to. The officer claimed, however, that Shant Harutyunyan made no such request of police. 

Shant Harutyunyan, responding to this statement of Avetisyan's, said that at Liberty Square (where protestors gathered before the march), he said there are provocateurs in the area, and if police officers don't maintain law and order, they will "beat the provocateurs". 

Tekali Taxi