Fri, 03 Jul 2020

Russian journalist Ivan Golunov has walks out of a police station in Moscow after after controversial drug charges against him were dropped.

The investigative reporter's detention had prompted widespread outrage among the country's journalists.

The June 11 announcement, by Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, was a stunning turnaround in the case, and was hailed by many reporters in Russia and elsewhere who were incensed by Golunov's arrest and who believed that he had been charged in retaliation for his reporting.

Golunov was arrested on June 6 on charges of attempting to sell a large amount of illegal drugs. He strenuously denied the accusations.

His lawyer said he was beaten, suffering bruises, cuts, a concussion, and a broken rib during or after his arrest.

In the statement announcing Golunov's release, Kolokoltsev said that police officers involved in the arrest had been suspended and an internal investigation into their actions had been launched.

Kolokoltsev said that the decision to drop the charges was based on results of forensics tests and 'due to the fact that the alleged crime has not been proven.'

Golunov was reportedly scheduled to be released later on June 11.

The arrest of the 36-year-old reporter on June 6 outraged many Russian reporters.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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