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Russia: Charges against journalist Ivan Golunov dropped after protests (Demo)

This statement was originally published on on 12 June 2019.

Journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested in Russia on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations, causing a public outcry that prompted the authorities to drop all the charges against him on 11th June. While welcoming this decision, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) call on the government to stop harassing journalists.

Ivan Golunov is a reporter for the independent Meduza news website. He is well known for his work investigating corruption among Moscow city officials. He showed how relatives of Moscow’s deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov earned billions on city contracts, amassing a fortune in real estate holdings.

Police said Golunov was carrying several bags of mephedrone, a club drug, when he was stopped and searched on a Moscow street on 6th June, on his way to a meeting with a source.

Golunov said the bags were planted and accused police officers of punching and kicking him while in detention. He reportedly suffered from concussion, bruising and possible broken ribs. He was also deprived of his right to call his lawyer or colleagues for more than 12 hours after his arrest.

Golunov’s arrest and beating raised a wave of support among press freedom defenders in Russia. The three Russian newspapers Vedomosti, RBC, and Kommersant published yesterday a similar frontpage with the headline “I/We are Ivan Golunov”. On Friday, at least 100 people demonstrated in the center of Moscow against Golunov’s arrest. Several journalists who had been arrested were released the same day.

On 11th June, the Russian police announced it dropped all charges against Ivan Golunov.

The post Russia: Charges against journalist Ivan Golunov dropped after protests appeared first on IFEX.


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