Russian journalists signed open letter asking to release Ivan Golunov (Meduza's investigative journalist)
Russian journalists have signed an open letter to support their colleage, investigative journalist working for Meduza Ivan Golunov, as Novaya Gazeta informed. He was detained on June 6th on drug charges, as he was going to meet his information source. Ivan Godunov is known for his investigations of corruption among Moscow's high-profile businesspeople and its political elite, as well as fraudulent financial schemes in the city, as BBC reported. Here, you will find an integral text of the open letter with demand to set free Ivan Golunov: OPEN LETTER On immediate release of Ivan Golunov To the Ministry of Internal Affairs, The main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow, the Prosecutor General's office, the Investigative Committee We are journalists, media workers and bloggers who are extremely outraged by the detention of our colleague, Medusa's special correspondent Ivan Golunov. He is charged with the sale of drugs, which police officers "found" in his backpack when he was detained on the way to the source. The editorial office had already known that Golunov was going to attend this meeting. We believe that it is ridiculous for a professional investigator who dealt with highly sensitive topics for the government and side business and who received a lot of threats to carry drugs while going to a working meeting. The message from the Ministry of Internal Affairs seems even more ridiculous. They stated that another parcel with drugs was found in the Golunov's apartment. We consider that it was a rough and ridiculous provocation against Ivan Golunov. Whatever were the motives of the police officers, whether to put pressure on the journalist or to increase the statistics on drug articles, if they did not know who they detained - we demand the immediate release of Ivan and to provide all the investigation materials to the journalistic community. In a situation where a detainee was denied a right to make a phone call for many hours, was denied an access to a lawyer and was denied requests to take swabs from hands and nail cuts (which could prove that the detainee had not been in contact with drugs), we cannot trust the official investigation and the ability and willingness of law enforcement officials to ensure the legality and legal purity of the investigation. We condemn the lawlessness and arbitrariness of the Ministry of Internal Affairs employees and demand to bring to justice all those who were involved in the process of detention, searches and initiation of proceedings against our colleague. We consider this incident to be a demonstration of a threat to Russian investigative journalists, especially in the light of the comment of the Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov about the "photos of the alleged home drug laboratory at Golunov's apartment, provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow". The statements that he was producing drugs are nothing more than an attempt to reinforce the accusation in order to intimidate the journalistic community. Free Ivan Golunov! Stop persecuting journalists! Novaya Gazeta
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