The Interior Ministry decided to stop the prosecution of journalist Ivan Golunov "due to the lack of evidence of his participation in the crime." This happened 5 days after his arrest.
The correspondent of the Meduza agency investigations department, Ivan Golunov, was detained on June 6 in Moscow. Golunov was going to meet with the source, but ended up in handcuffs face to face with the police.
Meduza writes that at the police station a journalist was beaten, he was not allowed to meet with a lawyer and contact his relatives.
According to an ambulance doctor who examined Golunov in the police, a hematoma on the back of his head, a damaged rib, bruises on his chest and back, a suspicion of a brain injury and a suspected concussion were found.
Police found "drugs" in Golunov’s backpack and apartment: 4 g of methalphedron in a backpack and about 5 g of cocaine in an apartment.
The journalist denies that the drugs are his, and claims that they were put there by the police. And yet Golunov was accused of attempted large-scale sale of drugs.
In addition, the police published nine photos with packages of prohibited substances, stating that the photos were taken in Golunov's apartment.
But the friends and colleagues pointed out that the photos were taken not in the journalist's apartment. Subsequently, the police acknowledged that 8 out of 9 photos were not from Golunov’s place of residence. And this is not the only discrepancy in the case.
Golunov himself links the case against him with his journalistic investigations. Let’s talk about it.
Who is Ivan Golunov and what he managed to investigate
Ivan Golunov is a special correspondent for Meduza. He is known for his investigations into corruption and criminal activity. The investigations also concern senior officials in Moscow and the Russian Federation.
According to Golunov, the detention is related to his investigation into the funeral business.
“This is because of the funeral business. I received threats,” Golunov emphasized.
The investigation of the journalist on the funeral business is called “The coffin, the cemetery, hundreds of billions of rubles. How officials, security forces and gangsters share the funeral market ...”.
Colleagues of the journalist and the public are of the same opinion. And they began to actively respond. Moreover, according to Golunov, on June 8, there was already a court decision.
Nikulinsky Moscow court sent Ivan Golunov under house arrest for two months.
The reaction of journalists and public
Golunov was supported not only by his colleagues from Meduza and a number of other publications, but also by journalists from the federal media, as well as well-known representatives of show business (for example, Zemfira, Bi-2 and Boris Grebenshchikov).
On the morning of June 10, for the first time in history, the Russian newspapers Vedomosti, Kommersant and RBK appeared with the same front page in support of Ivan Golunov.
The media demanded to check the actions of law enforcement officers during the arrest. Many journalists took part in actions of solidarity and single pickets.
What do the authorities say
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on June 10 discussed the Golunov case with journalists.
He admitted that the photos with "evidence" against the journalist are fake.
At the same time, Peskov noted that “journalists also make mistakes when they write certain materials. Moreover, in large numbers”.
The speaker of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, believes that the circumstances of Golunov’s detention cause distrust towards the investigating authorities.
“This is either unprofessionalism, or bungling, or provocation,” she said.
Matvienko promised to keep the situation with the detention of Golunov under control.
The lawyers appealed against the house arrest of Ivan Golunov. And they won.
Earlier, sources of the Project newspaper reported that the Kremlin wants to close the Golunov case for the sake of lowering the degree of public discontent before The Direct Line With Vladimir Putin, which will be held on June 20.
However, Peskov denied these rumors.