Detained Russian journalist Ivan Golunov under house arrest

Prominent Russian journalist charged with drug dealing colleagues claim persecution

Ivan Golunov, a reporter for Meduza independent news site who has been charged with attempted drug-dealing, "complained of feeling unwell", Moscow police said in a statement.

Meduza's editorial board as well as representatives of the Russian and worldwide journalism communities believe that Ivan is being persecuted due to his investigative work.

Defense lawyers filed a request to the Investigative Committee to probe the police who detained Golunov, Interfax reported, citing Pavel Chikov, head of the human rights group Agora.

The police claimed that they had found more than 3 grams of mephedrone in Golunov's backpack and more than 5 grams of cocaine in his apartment when they detained him on Thursday. The department later removed those photographs and said they stemmed from a different case.

The detentions came as Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attended an economic forum in the country's second city of Saint Petersburg.

The police, she adds, admitted that "most of the broadcast images had not been taken at Mr Golunov's flat finally, however had been linked to 1 more criminal investigation that would possibly maybe well well well furthermore be linked to his detention".

Within the first video of Mr Golunov since his arrest, posted by the Russian news plan Breaking Mash, he lifts up his shirt to disclose marks on his serve.

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Russian courts very rarely release suspects in drug cases from custody, and friends and colleagues heralded the decision as a minor triumph, though they also warned that Golunov still faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of drug possession with intent to sell. Golunov has said the drugs were planted.

Golunov has investigated state corruption and illicit business practices and was reporting on a scheme to corner the market in funeral services before his arrest.

Golunov's detention has prompted widespread outrage and supporters and journalists have held protests outside the police headquarters and the court where his case was due to be held.

His licensed professional, Dmitry Julay, told newshounds that the journalist had been denied food and sleep for more than 24 hours.

Golunov, a 36-year-old investigative reporter with Meduza, an independent Russian-language media outlet, was detained last week over allegations that he manufactured and dealt drugs. "He also hasn't eaten", she said.

"I am/we are Ivan Golunov", the Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK newspapers declared in giant letters on their front pages.

"Russia has a long history of politically motivated charges against independent reporters".

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