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More than 20 arrested at Moscow protest after reporter freed

14 June 2019

The protesters said senior officials behind Golunov's case should be punished and called for broad reform of police and courts.

Russian police detained more than 400 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, the OVD-Info monitoring group said.

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

The authorities had hoped freeing Golunov and promising punishment for those who allegedly framed him would appease his supporters, but they made a decision to go ahead with a protest on Wednesday, a public holiday in Russian Federation, regardless. The protest was scheduled before Golunov's drug charges were dropped and he was set free, but organizers chose to have it anyway, changing the focus to the police officers.

Some of the protesters wore white T-shirts saying "I am/We are Ivan Golunov", the same slogan as a front page headline carried by Russia's three leading daily newspapers on Monday.

Before Golunov's release 25,000 people had expressed interest in the solidarity march on Facebook.

The Telegraph saw more than a dozen people dragged away who did not appear to be actively protesting or obstructing police. A large crowd of Muscovites including a number of prominent Russians turned up regardless.

Recall that today in the center of Moscow march in support of Ivan Golunov took place.

A member of staff from German magazine Der Spiegel was held as well 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.

Amnesty International accused the Russian authorities of "contempt for solidarity and rights".

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 an "I am Golunov" T- shirt.

"We should not stand down, even if Ivan is free". In the second city of Saint Petersburg, around 100 people massed in the city centre, urging authorities to release victims of police abuse like respected historian Yury Dmitriyev. "We should not lull ourselves into complacency", said local lawmaker Maksim Reznik. Rights activists say authorities routinely use trumped-up drugs, extremism and other charges to silence critics with jail sentences.

Among those detained at the rally were journalists and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

More than 20 arrested at Moscow protest after reporter freed