Monday, 16 September, 2019

Russian police detain opposition politician Alexei Navalny at protest

Navalny among hundreds arrested at protest over Golunov's 'framing' Multiple arrests at Moscow protests over journalist's arrest
Deanna Wagner | 14 June, 2019, 21:43

Russian police on Wednesday said they detained over 200 people, including opposition politician Alexei Navalny, during a protest in Moscow, media reports have said.

After a public outcry, Golunov, 36, was released from house arrest.

More than 150 people have been detained in an unauthorised protest march in Moscow.

Many Russians had hoped to harness the widespread outrage over last week's arrest of respected reporter Ivan Golunov on trumped-up drugs charges to press for genuine reform of Russia's tainted law enforcement and justice systems. According to the Interior Ministry's main Moscow office, Golunov was carrying four grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug, while five grams of cocaine were found during a search of his rented apartment.

In the case of a not authorized demonstration of solidarity for the Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunow in Moscow, hundreds of people have been arrested.

The protestors took to streets calling for action against police personnel involved in the alleged framing of a journalist. "We should use Golunov's case to draw attention to others". Before Golunov's release 25,000 people had expressed interest in the solidarity march on Facebook. Many saw Golunov's release as a Kremlin attempt to crush the new protest wave. But in a controversial move, Meduza's top editors and several other journalists urged Muscovites to call off the protest after Golunov's release, triggering a storm of criticism.

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.

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On the same day, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova voiced her concern with Golunov's case saying that it has highlighted a number of important issues about existing detention procedures.

"Nothing in my country surprises me", Azar said.

Another protester named only by Reuters as Ivan, 28, said the freeing of Golunov did not amount to a victory.

"We should not stand down, even if Ivan is free".

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".

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