Monitoring Group: Nearly 400 Arrested in Moscow Journalist Protest

Russian national guard servicemen detain a participant of a protest action

Russian police detained at least 94 people on Wednesday, including opposition politician Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow calling for punishment for police officers involved in the alleged framing of a journalist, monitors said.

Mr Golunov was freed on Tuesday after drug-dealing charges against him were dropped following a public outcry. 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".

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.

According to those on the scene, the arrests did not appear targeted as police detained random protesters, a journalist covering the march, and often-arrested Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

The city authorities had earlier authorized a rally on Sakharov Avenue on June 16, explaining that on Wednesday Moscow holds cultural events devoted to celebrating Russia Day. Golunov, who earned a reputation for exposing corrupt Moscow city officials, denied the allegations. After a public outburst of protest, including by three of Russia's most respected newspapers, the case was dropped on Monday for lack of evidence. Almost 25,000 people said they were interested in attending on Facebook. [Another issue is that] one must not use force [during detention] in any case.

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The march become as soon as at the starting place organised to quiz Mr Golunov's release but then become a demand these liable for his preliminary detention to be held accountable.

Krivosheev also called on authorities "to immediately and unconditionally release the protestors arrested today".

A monitoring community stated greater than 400 of us were detained, even supposing Russian authorities keep the amount at nearer to 200. Many protesters said the journalist's case had struck a nerve because almost everyone could find himself in his place. It said police had started to release some of them without charge while drawing up charges against others.

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.

Authorities warned protest organizers the demonstration would be illegal and would create safety concerns.

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