Around 1,200 People Attended Unauthorised Pro-Golunov Rally in Moscow - Interior Ministry

Police officers detain a protester during a march in Moscow Russia

Russian police said they had detained more than 200 people on Wednesday (June 12), including opposition politician Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow calling for punishment of police officers involved in the alleged framing of a journalist.

Russian police have detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny and hundreds of other people who attended a Moscow protest to call for retribution against police who allegedly framed a high-profile journalist, a monitoring group said.

The rally on Wednesday comes one day after a stunning police decision to drop charges against Ivan Golunov, who was charged last week with drug dealing.

Protesters walked west from Chistye Prudy in the northeast part of the city's downtown to the city's police headquarters on Petrovka Street. As police dragged protesters into vans the crowd yelled: "Shame, on Russia Day, this is our country's day!" His arrest sparked a public outcry and triggered unprecedented solidarity among media, with three top newspapers publishing the same front page: "I am/we are Ivan Golunov" in giant letters on Monday.

While welcoming Golunov's release, a spokeswoman for the European Union on foreign affairs said the trend in Russian Federation with regard to media freedom "remains worrying".

Local media said more than 2500 people had taken part in the rally, although authorities said it was less than half that number. Many saw Golunov's release as a Kremlin attempt to avert the new protest wave.

Protesters called for reform of Russia's tainted law enforcement agencies and the release from prison of victims of police abuse.

Protesters waved banners and wore T-shirts with the slogan "I/We are Ivan Golunov" and accused police of the spend of criminal behaviour in piquant the reporter.

German news weekly Der Spiegel reported that one of its producers was also arrested, despite carrying appropriate permits. "The authorities are very much scared of the fantastic and unanimous display of solidarity in the Golunov case", Navalny said on Twitter. Many protesters said the journalist's case had struck a nerve because almost everyone could find himself in his place.

Officers in insurrection tools clashed with protesters all the blueprint during the unauthorised march in enhance of Ivan Golunov. "A lot of drug cases happen like this", said 15-year-old Yegor, who wore a "I am Golunov" T-shirt, speaking before the march.

The rally was unsanctioned by city authorities and police soon began to detain people for violating protest laws.

The march had been scheduled before Golunov's release and the statement by Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev that the journalist was not guilty. The few independent media that still operate in Russian Federation are under huge pressure, Kremlin critics say. "We should use Golunov's case to draw attention to others".



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