Russian police ‘beat’ reporter charged with dealing drugs

Erika Holt
June 11, 2019

A prominent investigative journalist who was detained on drug-dealing charges in Russian Federation is being taken to the hospital after complaining of feeling poorly in police custody.

The journalist was on his way to a meeting with a source on Thursday when he was searched and arrested in Moscow on drug charges, according to a statement by his employer, Meduza.

A court put Golunov on house arrest late on Saturday. Earlier, he was given a clinical examination amid experiences he had been injured all over the arrest.

The Meduza website is based in European Union member Latvia to circumvent censorship from Moscow, but some of its journalists live in Russian Federation. He was detained and drugs were planted on him.

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.

What do we know about his arrest?

He left the courtroom after the ruling to place him under house arrest until August 7.

On Friday night, the Ministry of Interior Affairs posted a series of nine photos of what they claimed were drugs found in the reporter's Moscow apartment, only one of which Golunov's friends could identify as having been taken in his apartment.

"The entire staff of Meduza is 100% certain that the charges against Ivan Golunov are related to his journalism".

Police released photography which they acknowledged showed drug paraphernalia in Mr Golunov's flat, but these were later withdrawn, BBC Russian journalist Olga Ivshina experiences.

"Two months ago they became nearly daily", she said, adding that she was unable to persuade Golunov to contact police.

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According to Meduza, Golunov had received threats in recent months.

"I am the journalist Ivan Golunov". "Moreover, now we possess grounds to contemplate that Golunov is being persecuted thanks to his journalistic exercise".

Golunov, who has denied using or possessing drugs, was examined in a hospital Saturday and found to have abrasions on his back and a bruise around one eye.

Medusa will study every action taken by investigators in the Golunov's case.

She had failed to persuade Golunov to contact police, she added.

Outside the Moscow court on Saturday, some journalists held up placards with slogans including "I am the journalist Ivan Golunov".

Journalists in Russian Federation have often been harassed or attacked in recent years for their work.

Much of Russia's media is controlled by the state and Russian Federation is ranked 83rd out of 100 countries for press freedom by Freedom House.

"We can win out by whose will Vanya [Ivan] is being pursued, and we are in a position to produce this files public", Meduza's director Galina Timchenko and editor Ivan Kolpakov acknowledged.

"We will protect our journalist by all available means". Russian journalists have rallied to Golunov's side, protesting for hours outside Moscow police headquarters and giving his case nonstop coverage online.

Later, through a lawyer, Dmitry Dzhulay, he reported that he was beaten by the police.

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