Russian Journalist Released After Police Drop Charges

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The journalist's arrest last Thursday shocked many in Russian Federation, especially as he was accused of being involved in a drug ring. Golunov claimed that the bags of powder were planted at his apartment.

An global news media advocacy group has urged Russian Federation to conduct a thorough investigation in to the death of a journalist who died after falling from a fifth floor window in his apartment building.

Golunov is a reporter with independent media outlet Meduza, which is based in EU-member Latvia.

"The case against Golunov is actually over".

Ivan Golunov sits inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a Moscow court.

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.

According to the Interior Ministry's official statement, police seized almost 4 grams of methylmethedrone from Golunov. The frame-up character of Golunov's arrest has been so obvious that even the state-sponsored media raised questions about it.

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Mr Kolokoltsev acknowledged he would search data from Russian President Vladimir Putin to brush off two high-ranking officers over the case: the pinnacle of the Interior Affairs Directorate of Moscow's Western Administrative District, Gen Puchkov, and the pinnacle of the Medication Retain watch over Directorate, Peculiar Devyatkin.

A march in support of Golunov was scheduled for Wednesday in downtown Moscow, and a petition demanding his release gathered some 180,000 signatures.

"I will now have to work harder to justify your confidence in me", Golunov said pledging to continue his investigations as he left the Investigative Committee building.

Ivan Golunov, a journalist who worked for the independent website Meduza, sits in a cage in a court room in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 8, 2019. The issues of the three newspapers sold out within a few hours and are now being auctioned off online.

It is not yet clear if the police reversal represented a turning point for the many Russian journalists who are routinely attacked or face government pressure for their work.

Hashtags like #IamIvanGolunov and #FreeGolunov found significant support on Twitter.

During his two decades in power, Putin has silenced most of his critics and sought to muzzle the media.

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In a surprise announcement on Tuesday Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said Golunov was to be released from house arrest and charges against him lifted. The policemen involved in his case were suspended. His supporters said the charges were politically motivated. "The freeing of Golunov was not a victory".

Prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny said it was "wonderful news" and proved what can be achieved with "simple solidarity".

The circumstances of Golunov's detention alarmed others in the media. We are following his case closely. Reports acknowledged he change into beaten at some stage in his arrest.

Russian Federation has been widely criticised for its approach to press freedom.

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

The three newspapers said they welcomed the more lenient pre-trial conditions but said they did not consider the evidence presented by investigators to be convincing.

His journalistic work thus could be easily exploited for the anti-Putin campaign in the Western media and by the pro-US liberal opposition in Russian Federation.

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