Russia Police Detain More Than 400 At Moscow Journalist Protest

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

"More than 200 people have been detained for committing administrative offences", a spokesperson for the ministry said.

Two senior police including an official in charge of drug control in Moscow are expected to be dismissed.

Information indicating Moscow police acted based on falsified evidence and sham allegations quickly surfaced.

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.

But at least 1,200 took to the streets anyway on Wednesday, according to police, for an unsanctioned march that morphed into a broader protest against politicised cases.

Three major Russian newspapers had earlier rallied round the freelance journalist in a rare public show of support.

At the meeting, which took place on June 10, among other things the high-profile criminal case of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov was discussed.

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.

"I would like not only Ivan Golunov but all people who fall into the judicial and investigative system to be protected".

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"This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people", Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said . Locsin in a tweet said he filed the protest "quietly", but did not give anymore details.

German news weekly Der Spiegel reported that one of its producers was also arrested, despite carrying appropriate permits. Fellow journalists at the Meduza news website rallied others to stand up for Golunov and media freedom.

Footage of the arrests and of the crowds gathered in the centre of the city were shared on social media.

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".

The within minister admitted that Mr Golunov's guilt had "now not been proven", and that an interior inquiry had been launched. "The authorities are very much scared of the fantastic and unanimous display of solidarity in the Golunov case", Navalny said on Twitter.

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.

Officers said they had discovered the drug mephedrone in his bag, and more drugs and weighing scales in a search of his home. Defense lawyers said his fingerprints weren't on any of the drug packets allegedly found in his apartment.

Russian Federation ranks 149th out of 180 countries worldwide on a media freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group.

Supporters immediately claimed the journalist was innocent and a victim of fabricated drug charges, which activists say are used against opposition figures and human rights activists by the Russian state.

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