Russian police detain around 100 at Moscow journalist protest

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2019

Supporters of a Russian journalist who was arrested on drug dealing charges and freed after the government admitted no evidence existed of wrongdoing marched Wednesday in Moscow to protest alleged fabrications by police.

"More than 400 people had been detained at the march", said OVD Info, which monitors opposition arrests.

Police abruptly dropped drugs charges a day earlier against journalist Ivan Golunov, a rare U-turn by the authorities in the face of anger from his supporters who said he was framed for his reporting.

Officers in riot gear clashed with protesters during the unauthorised march in support of Ivan Golunov. As police beat up the protesters and even detained random passers-by, President Vladimir Putin congratulated the nation, saying he would do everything to promote the country's "further prosperity and development".

On the eve of the march the Kremlin said the protest could interfere with Russia Day festivities.

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

Reuters witnesses said well over 1,000 people marched through central Moscow, chanting "Russia will be free", "Russia without Putin" and "Down with the Tsar" as police warned them not to break the law and blocked access to certain streets.

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Three of Russia's most respected newspapers Monday published near-identical front pages Monday reading "I/we am/are Ivan Golunov".

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.

The Telegraph saw more than a dozen people dragged away who did not appear to be actively protesting or obstructing police. Many called for the release of victims of police abuse and political prisoners including Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. The ceremony was taking place at the same time as the protest in the city.

What happened to Ivan Golunov?

"A lot of drug cases happen like this", said 15-year-old Yegor, who wore an "I am Golunov" T-shirt.

Kolokoltsev, the interior minister, said some police officers involved in the case were being temporarily removed from duty pending an investigation and that he planned to ask Putin to dismiss other more senior police personnel.

A monitoring community stated greater than 400 of us were detained, even supposing Russian authorities keep the amount at nearer to 200.

Among those detained at the rally were journalists and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. It said police had started to release some of them without charge while drawing up charges against others.

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