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Mass Arrests in Russia After Protests over Detention of Journalist

HeadlineJun 12, 2019

In Moscow, local reports say Russian police have detained nearly 100 people, including opposition politician Alexei Navalny, at a protest condemning police corruption over the recent arrest of independent journalist Ivan Golunov.

Golunov was released Tuesday following widespread public outcry. Golunov, who reported on corruption and press censorship, was arrested last week and accused of drug dealing, in what his lawyers and press freedom advocates say were fabricated charges after police planted fake evidence. He has since been cleared of the charges, and the arresting officers in the case have been suspended pending the results of an internal inquiry.

Golunov’s reporting included an investigation into the finances of Moscow’s deputy mayor’s family, the funding of public works in Moscow, and efforts to suppress press freedom. Russian press also rallied around Golunov, with three major business newspapers publishing matching front pages Monday to call out his arrest. Russia ranks number 149 in Reporters Without Borders’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, which describes the country as having a “stifling atmosphere for independent journalists”.

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