‘Meduza’ correspondent Ivan Golunov arrested in Moscow A statement from CEO Galina Timchenko and editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov
Our colleague and friend, Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov, has been arrested in Moscow. Police supposedly found illegal drugs on his person and in his home, and detectives have claimed there was an “intent to distribute.” Golunov managed to say through friends that the officers planted two packages containing some unknown substance. He also stated that he wasn’t allowed to use a telephone and call a lawyer. Detectives only notified Golunov’s friend, BBC Russian Service correspondent Svetlana Reiter, approximately 14 hours later, in the middle of the night.
When he’d finally been granted access to an attorney, Ivan asked the police to take samples from his hands and fingernails for forensic analysis that could determine if he was ever in contact with the drugs police say they found. Ivan’s request was denied. Ivan was beaten during his arrest and while in custody, before he was allowed to see a lawyer. When a lawyer saw his injuries, he tried to summon paramedics to record evidence of the mistreatment. The police denied this request, as well.
Ivan Golunov is one of the best known investigative journalists in Russia. You have likely read his work at Meduza, which includes this recent extensive report on predatory microfinance institutions in Moscow. He’s also written about the relatives of Moscow Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov, and an organization scheming to take over Russia's funeral industry. Ivan Golunov’s professional reputation is impeccable. He is a meticulous, honest, and impartial journalist, and outside work Ivan is one of the most decent people we know.
We are convinced that Ivan Golunov is innocent. Moreover, we have reason to believe he’s been targeted because of his work as a journalist. We know that Ivan has received threats in recent months, and we think we know from whom. Meduza will follow closely every action by the investigators in Golunov’s case. We will find out who is behind this, and make the information public. We will defend our journalist by all available means.