Georgian Prosecutors Go After Jailed Javakhk Activist

TBILISI (ArmRadio)–Georgian prosecutors have filed two new charges against Georgian-Armenian political activist, Vahagn Chakhalyan, who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment last April.

The leader of the United Javakhk Democratic Alliance, Chakhalyan was found guilty last year for the “acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition”, “organizing a group action which grossly disrupted public order”, and “hooliganism committed against a government representative.”

He is now being charged for allegedly attempting to interfere in the “Georgianization” of the Armenian church in the Javakheti village of Samsar in July 2005 and for organizing protests at the Georgian-Armenian border checkpoint of “Zhdanovakan-Bavra” in December 2005.

Chakhalyan and his lawyers were informed of the new charges on March 11 by investigators at the Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda Police departments.  Spartak Khechoyan and Gevorg Kspoyan visited the Javakheti activist for interrogation in the Rustavi colony.

According to the two investigators, the new charges came in response to a recently published book by Chakhalyan titled, “Prison-political notes.”

The Akhalkalaki police have said the book contains evidence that would allow prosecutors to file new charges in connection to cases against the activist from 2005.

The Yerkir Union of Georgia, which has taken up Chakhalyan’s defense, said Friday that ”it is obvious the new accusations against the Javakhk Armenian political figure are part of a campaign of terror against the Armenians of Javakhk in the run up to local elections in May.”

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