Hundreds Arrested in Moscow Golunov March After Release

Navalny among hundreds arrested at protest over Golunov's 'framing'

Russian police said they have detained almost 400 people, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow over the alleged framing of a journalist, Wednesday, June 12.

Wednesday's march was initially called to press for the release of Golunov who was then suddenly freed on the eve of the rally.

More than 400 people were detained on Wednesday during a peaceful but unsanctioned march in Moscow against the alleged impunity and corruption of law enforcement agencies.

Police on Tuesday released reporter Ivan Golunov of the popular online news outlet Meduza, which is based in Latvia to avoid Kremlin pressure, in a rare retreat in the face of a public outcry.

The police claimed that they had found drug bundles in his home which they said he meant to sell.

Protesters walked west from Chistye Prudy in the northeast part of the city's downtown to the city's police headquarters on Petrovka Street.

Despite his release, witnesses said more than 1,000 people marched through central Moscow Wednesday, calling for police involved in the Golunov incident to be punished and chanting "Russia will be free". Before Golunov's release 25,000 people had expressed interest in the solidarity march on Facebook.


"I'm loving the view", Navalny wrote in an Instagram post that included a photo of demonstrators taken from the barred window of a van where he was being held by police.

Golunov said he wouldn't participate in the protest but planned to continue investigating government corruption for Meduza news.

A member of workers from German magazine Der Spiegel become as soon as held as successfully as journalists from Vedomosti and Echo Moscow Radio.

Mr Navalny tweeted that the government had become very anxious by the "fantastic and unanimous expression of solidarity in the Golunov case" and was now setting about destroying that solidarity and intimidating and jailing those who persevered. "What happened to Ivan Golunov happens every day all across the country. A lot of drug cases happen like this", said 15-year-old Yegor, who wore an "I am Golunov" T- shirt. "We should use Golunov's case to draw attention to others".

The protest coincided with the national Russia Day holiday.

Golunov's case has also sparked debates over the need to reform the law on drug possession in Russian Federation, which, critics, say, have been used to silence opposition figures and truth-seeking journalists.

Police in Moscow had earlier put the number detained at 200 and said charges could result in 20 days in jail.

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