Russian parliament speaker concerned about journalist's case

Russian investigative journalist Golunov attends a court hearing in Moscow

Russian investigative journalist Golunov attends a court hearing in Moscow

His colleagues describe him as one of the best investigative journalists in the country and they think that is why he has been targeted on what they believe are fabricated charges.

On Monday, a group of major Russian newspapers and media groups launched a campaign in support of journalist Ivan Golunov, who was arrested last week in what he says are trumped-up drug charges.

"I/We are Ivan Golunov", the front pages of the Kommersant, RBC, and Vedomosti newspapers declared, referring to the detained journalist.

In an apparent attempt to portray him as a professional drug dealer, police on Friday released several photos, reportedly from Golunov's home, of what appeared to be a drugs lab.

Matviyenko is the most senior Russian official to cast doubt on the charges against Golunov, who rose to prominence with his investigations into corruption at the Moscow City Hall, the crime-ridden funeral industry and murky food markets.

"We demand that the law be observed by everyone and for everyone", they said.

Golunov, who maintained his innocence and claimed to be the victim of a set-up, was placed under house arrest on 8 June.

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All three newspapers are privately owned but increasingly have to toe the government line.

But the crude way supporters say Mr. Golunov was set up has triggered an unusual show of media unity and an uncharacteristically swift response from authorities nervous about social unrest at a time when President Vladimir Putin already faces disquiet over living standards.

His lawyer and supporters pointed to egregious violations in his case.

A police raid on his apartment allegedly uncovered cocaine and more mephedrone.

Golunov's case provoked increased media attention in Russian Federation, with many reporters from both state- and privately-owned outlets expressing solidarity with the investigative journo.

The Meduza website is based in European Union member state Latvia to circumvent censorship from Moscow, but some of its journalists live in Russian Federation.

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