Russian police abruptly dropped drugs charges against a journalist in the face of public anger after accusations he was framed over his work.
The move by the papers is highly unusual in Russian Federation, where journalists are routinely threatened and even murdered over their work.
When Golunov was formally charged Saturday with drug possession with intent to sell, it appeared that the police were preparing to lock up a journalist who had spotlighted official corruption.
Russian state TV reported Sunday that authorities found Golunov intoxicated when they arrived at his home to arrest him.
"I believe that irrespective of any citizen's professional activities his rights should always be protected", the minister added.
Moscow's Nikulinsky District Court placed the journalist under house arrest. But since Golunov's work mostly focused on Moscow City Hall and the city's crime-ridden funeral industry, the case raised questions about a possible shift in where the red lines are drawn in Russian journalism.
His lawyer previously said Golunov was beaten so badly by police he was left with a concussion and broken ribs.
The reporter could have faced up to 20 years in prison if he had been tried and convicted.
"I will continue the work that I was doing and carry out investigations because I need to justify the trust in me that those who have supported me have shown", he said.
Judicial statistics indicate that the chances for criminal charges to be dropped or an acquittal once a person is in custody are extremely slim.
In a statement announcing Golunov's freedom, Meduza's leader thanked what they called "an unprecedented global solidarity campaign" of journalists and others who are committed to free speech.
A planned central Moscow protest - which did not receive permission from state officials - will still go ahead tomorrow, Vaessen said, with organisers promising "not to rest" until those who organised Golunov's detention are brought to justice. Many of them say they don't feel safe to operate and report freely. In his statement, Kolokoltsev did not comment on the fact that the drugs found among Golunov's possessions must have come from someone apart from Golunov.
In an unprecedented show of solidarity on Monday, the Vedomosti, Kommersant and RBC newspapers each published front page headlines: "I am/We are Ivan Golunov", accompanied by editorials calling for inquiries into the case.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that President Vladimir Putin is following the case. Framing people for drug-related crimes is a common way for influential figures across Russian Federation to sideline opponents, rights activists claim.
The official announcement also said an internal investigation will be conducted into the police officers who detained the journalist.
The Russian investigative media outlet Project cited unnamed Kremlin officials on Monday as saying the presidential administration wanted police to drop charges against Golunov because they were anxious Putin would face awkward questions during the live call-in show.