Hundreds Arrested in Moscow in Protest over Arrested Journalist
Ivan Golunov, an investigative journalist for Meduza, was arrested on fabricated drug charges
Photo AP/Pavel Golovkin
More than 400 people were arrested in Moscow during a large protest in support of arrested, then released, journalist Ivan Golunov.
Golunov was arrested on June 6, 2019 on several drug charges. However, due to a large outcry from other journalists and citizens in general, Gulunov was released on June 11, 2019 and the Interior Minister of Russia announced that the charges were fabricated. This was reported by AP.
Even after the release of Golunov, an estimated 1,200 people showed up in central Moscow on June 12, 2019 to protest the abuses perpetrated by the police and to show support for investigative journalists.
In Russia, unsanctioned protests are typically met with extreme force by the police and efforts are made to break them up as quickly as possible. The protest that took place on June 12, 2019 coincided with a national holiday in Russia to celebrate independence from the Soviet Union. Many people carried Russian flags during the protest.
According to AP: “…those arrested faced charges that could bring up to 20 days in jail, state news agency Tass reported. Among them was Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent foe.”
After Golunov’s arrest, “…police posted photos of drugs allegedly taken in the journalist’s apartment, but then admitted the images came from another case. Defense lawyers said his fingerprints weren’t on any of the drug packets allegedly found in his apartment,” reports AP.
Even the Kremlin controlled state media reported on the story in great detail and three newspapers published nearly identical front page stories about the arrest and expressed support for Golunov.
“’The case against Golunov is actually over. But the case against the system in which such lawlessness became possible is just beginning,’ Maria Zheleznova, opinion editor of the newspaper Vedomosti, wrote in a piece published Wednesday [June 12, 2019],” reports AP.
|Source||The Associated Press|