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Putin fires police officers involved in journalist's case

A detained supporter of Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov shows placard reading "I'm/we are Ivan Golunov" out of window of a police bus in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. 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. More than 20 demonstrators have been detained, according to monitoring group.(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed two senior police officers involved in the arrest of an investigative journalist on drug charges that later were dropped when the government admitted there was no evidence he committed a crime.

Ivan Golunov, 36, was reportedly beaten and denied a lawyer for more than 12 hours a week ago following drug-dealing charges he rejected as sham.

The arrest provoked public outrage, and the interior ministry dropped all charges against Golunov Tuesday and asked Putin to dismiss two police generals.

On Thursday, the Kremlin announced the firing of Moscow police’s anti-drugs chief, Yuri Devyatkin, and head of the police department for western Moscow, Andrei Puchkov.

Their dismissal comes a day after hundreds of people were arrested at an unsanctioned rally in Golunov’s support in Moscow.

The Associated Press