The leader of United Javakhk Democratic Alliance Vahagn Chakhalyan has been released Thursday, January 24, 5.40 pm Yerevan time, the activist’s lawyer Stepan Voskanyan told PanARMENIAN.Net.
Earlier last week, Georgia freed 190 inmates considered political prisoners by parliament, under an amnesty that has deepened a power struggle in the former Soviet republic. About 3,000 prisoners will eventually be released under the amnesty approved in December by parliament, which has been dominated by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's ruling coalition since an election on Oct. 1. President Mikheil Saakashvili tried to block the amnesty last month but parliament overturned his veto, increasing strains between him and the new government and parliament.
Chakhalyan was arrested by Georgian authorities on July 21, 2008. He was given a 10-year sentence for “organization of large-scale events, public disturbance, hooliganism and illegal possession of weapons,” based on falsified evidence. Vahagn Chakhalyan’s case is currently being studied at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.