Navalny among hundreds arrested at protest over Golunov's 'framing'

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According to the Russian media, the number of detained was at least twice as much as official numbers - over 400 people.

The Interior Ministry said about 1,200 people took part in the Moscow demonstration and arrested protesters faced charges that could bring up to 20 days in jail, state news agency Tass reported.

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". As police beat up the protesters and even detained random passers-by, President Vladimir Putin congratulated the nation, saying he would do everything to promote the country's "further prosperity and development".

"I'm loving the view", Navalny wrote in an Instagram post that included a photo of demonstrators taken from the barred window of a van where he was being held by police.

A member of workers from German magazine Der Spiegel become as soon as held as successfully as journalists from Vedomosti and Echo Moscow Radio.

Amnesty International's Denis Krivosheev said in a statement the "arbitrary and often brutal arrests of over 400 peaceful protestors, including children, are a ideal example of the cruel repression that brought the protestors to the streets in the first place". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

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Wednesday's march was initially called to press for the release of Golunov who was then suddenly freed on the eve of the rally. Golunov was released yesterday after an unprecedented solidarity campaign to draw attention to false drug charges against him.

Sergei Udaltsov, a left-wing political activist, said the Golunov case was an important moment. Russian law requires protests to be approved by authorities in advance. The ceremony was taking place at the same time as the protest in the city.

"We should not stand down, even if Ivan is free. A lot of drug cases happen like this", said 15-year-old Yegor, who wore an "I am Golunov" T- shirt. "We should not lull ourselves into complacency", said local lawmaker Maksim Reznik.

During the protest, several journalists also were arrested along with opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, the Russian watchdog group OVD-Info reported. "Force is only used when there is a lack of professionalism", Moskalkova said.

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

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