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3 Arrested In Beating Of Armenian Activist


Armenia - Injured activist Smbat Hakobian recovers in a hospital, Yerevan, 24Sep2015.

Armenia - Injured activist Smbat Hakobian recovers in a hospital, Yerevan, 24Sep2015.

Law-enforcement authorities reported on Thursday the arrest of three men suspected of involvement in Monday’s brutal attack on a member of an Armenian group at odds with the government.

Armenia’s Investigative Committee said they were placed under arrest the previous night after being questioned by law-enforcement officials separately and in the presence of Smbat Hakobian, the injured activist still recovering from his wounds in a Yerevan hospital.

In a statement, the Investigative Committee did not clarify whether the suspects confessed to beating up Hakobian shortly after an anti-government demonstration held in the capital. They were not immediately charged with assault.

Speaking to reporters from his hospital bed on Wednesday night, Hakobian said he recognized the three arrested men as participants of his beating. He expressed confidence that the high-profile case will be solved by the authorities.

“I am convinced that the police and the Investigative Committee are on the right track,” added the activist affiliated with the Union of Freedom Fighters, which unites Armenian veterans of the Nagorno-Karabakh war critical of the government.

Immediately after the assault Hakobian claimed that one of his attackers, a certain Tigran, is a bodyguard of Ruben Hayrapetian, a notoriously violent tycoon close to the government. He said Hayrapetian threatened to have him beaten up in June because of his political activities. The tycoon strongly denied any involvement in the beating.

On Wednesday night Hakobian was careful not to implicate Hayrapetian in the violence. “Let’s leave Ruben Hayrapetian alone,” he said.

None of the detained suspects identified by the investigators is called Tigran.

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