Moscow police release opposition politician Navalny

On Wednesday evening, Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was released from the Strogino police department in Moscow, where he had been taken after the unauthorized march in support of Ivan Golunov.

“Hardly had I made myself comfortable in the cell and repeatedly tried to cover a very bright lamp with a piece of a disposable sheet when the officers came and said: ‘You may leave’. I have been released. But what for did they do that? I hope the rest of the detainees have been freed as well,” Navalny said on Twitter.

Earlier, Ivan Zhdanov, Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, said thar Navalny had been detained for repeated violation of rules of organising a rally.

On June 6, Meduza investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was detained and beaten by the police. The special correspondent of Meduza was accused of attempted large scale drug sale. Colleagues and human rights activists believe the case to be a revenge for the investigations of Golunov and claim that the drugs were planted on him by the siloviki. The incident triggered a wave of solidarity and massive public outcry, which the Russian authorities might have taken into account when taking a decision to free Golunov and stop criminal proceedings. However, Russians took to the streets to protest against criminal frame-ups. By various estimates, 1,200 – 3,000 persons may have been involved in Wednesday’s rally. Interestingly, Golunov refused to show up at the solidarity march.

According to OVD-info, the Moscow police detained more than 540 persons, including journalists, teenagers and seniors. Some of them were not participating in the march, thew were just walking by. However, the police reported about 200 detainees. All but four of them have been released, the Main Directorate of the Interior Ministry states.


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