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18 Mar, 2008 00:30

Armenian parliament clamps down on rallies

Armenia's parliament has introduced restrictions on holding rallies in the capital Yerevan. The move is meant to prevent clashes between police and opposition activists after a state of emergency expires on Friday.

President Robert Kocharyan declared the 20-day emergency rule on March 1, following mass protests against the presidential election, which the opposition claims to have been rigged.

Eight people were killed and more than 100 injured in the clashes.

Under the new rules authorities are now able to ban a rally if police believe it could turn violent or threaten national security.

Opposition leaders say they will defend the right to hold rallies despite the restrictions.