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

Russian national guard servicemen detain a participant of a protest action

Russian national guard servicemen detain a participant of a protest action

The hoses also hit a number of police officers.

Police earlier said more than 200 people had been held, including opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

The authorities had hoped freeing Golunov and promising punishment for those who allegedly framed him would appease his supporters, but they chose to go ahead with a protest on Wednesday, a public holiday in Russian Federation, regardless.

"They protested not only against the arrest of Golunov, but to show their anger at the oppression against the media, and to protest against the system - that people can be arrested on these fake charges here in Russian Federation".

Police abruptly dropped drugs charges a day earlier against journalist Ivan Golunov, a rare U-turn by the authorities in the face of anger from his supporters who said he was framed for his reporting.

Police and hundreds of demonstrators are facing off in central Moscow at an unauthorized march against police abuse in the wake of the high-profile detention of a Russian journalist.

Golunov, a reporter for the website Meduza, was arrested June 6 for allegedly dealing synthetic stimulants.

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

In announcing Golunov's arrest, police posted photos of drugs allegedly taken in the journalist's apartment, but then admitted the images came from another case. State TV reported that Golunov had been intoxicated when arrested, but retracted the claim after it was pointed out that a medical document shown in the report specified that he wasn't. Defense lawyers said his fingerprints weren't on any of the drug packets allegedly found in his apartment. Some wore T-shirts reading "I am/We are Ivan Golunov", the headline used by three national newspapers amid a public outcry over the case.

Golunov vowed to continue his investigative work into corruption and graft.

OVD-Info, a group which monitors arrests of opposition figures, said: "More than 400 people had been detained at the march".

Sergei Udaltsov, a left-wing political activist, said the Golunov case was an important moment. "But the case against the system in which such lawlessness became possible is just beginning", Maria Zheleznova, opinion editor of the newspaper Vedomosti, wrote in a piece published Wednesday.