Russians protest falsified cases after journalist's release

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Ivan Golunov was given a warm welcome after his release

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Ivan Golunov was given a warm welcome after his release

Despite his release, witnesses said more than 1,000 people marched through central Moscow Wednesday, calling for police involved in the Golunov incident to be punished and chanting "Russia will be free". 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.

Wednesday's march was initially called to press for the release of Golunov who was then suddenly freed, with the charges against him dropped, on the eve of the rally. Russian police moved in against the unsanctioned march amid cries of "shame" and "stop police terror".

Before the police backed down, almost 25,000 people had signed up to a Facebook page expressing their intention to take part in a protest march on Wednesday in solidarity with Golunov. More than 200 people have been hauled off by police at an unauthorized rally in downtown Moscow in support of Ivan Golunov, a reporter of the Meduza media outlet, the Interior Ministry's Main Department in Moscow told TASS.

The OVD-Info group that monitors political arrests said more than 20 people were detained at the march.

Golunov said he wouldn't participate in the protest but planned to continue investigating government corruption for Meduza news. One detained activist brandished a placard saying, "I am Ivan Golunov" in the window of a police van.

German news weekly Der Spiegel reported that one of its producers was also arrested, despite carrying appropriate permits.

Mr Navalny tweeted that the authorities had become very nervous by the "improbable and unanimous expression of cohesion in the Golunov case" and become as soon as now setting about destroying that cohesion and intimidating and jailing of us who persevered. The ceremony was taking place at the same time as the protest in the city.

Officers in insurrection tools clashed with protesters all the blueprint during the unauthorised march in enhance of Ivan Golunov. In the centre of the second city of Saint Petersburg, around 100 people gathered, urging authorities to release victims of police abuse such as respected historian Yury Dmitriyev. "We demand that hundreds of thousands of (criminal) cases where people are sitting in prison unfairly now be reviewed". "We should not lull ourselves into complacency", said local lawmaker Maksim Reznik.

A number of journalists at the rally were detained, including protest organiser Ilya Azar of Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and several others who were reporting on the demonstration. The Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was bundled... It said police had started to release some of them without charge while drawing up charges against others.

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