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No phone call, no attorney, no food, no sleep How police broke Russian law during Ivan Golunov's arrest

Source: Meduza / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA

Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov was arrested in Moscow on June 6 and charged with attempting to sell drugs. Golunov’s attorneys reported that police had provoked Golunov during the arrest proceedings and violated numerous aspects of Russian law. Meduza has collected the arresting officers’ most representative violations of the rights guaranteed in Russia’s “On Police” statutes.

1. Term of detention

What the law says:

“The term of detention shall be counted from the moment the freedom of movement of the individual in question is factually limited.” (Article 14, point 4)

When Ivan Golunov was factually arrested:

“… he was arrested by police officers at approximately 14:40 on June 6 in Moscow at 13 Tsvetnoy Boulevard.” (From investigator Igor Lopatin’s order for a chemical examination, June 7, 2019)

When Ivan Golunov was legally arrested:

“[Investigator] I.A. Lopatin, in correspondence with Articles 91 and 92 of the Russian Federal Codex of Criminal Procedure, arrested [Golunov] on June 7, 2019, at 03:50 in office No. 846 of the Internal Affairs headquarters for the Internal Affairs Departmental Division for the City of Moscow…”

Ivan Golunov’s freedom of movement was limited immediately after his arrest on Tsvetnoy Boulevard: he was put in handcuffs and placed in a police vehicle. However, the arrest against him was only formalized 13 hours and 10 minutes later. The countdown to Russia’s maximum 48-hour arrest period began only after those 13 hours, and investigators may be able to extend that maximum period to 61 hours.

2. Right to a phone call to friends and family members

What the law says:

“As soon as possible, and no later than three hours after the moment of arrest […] an arrested individual has the right to one telephone conversation that carries the aim of notifying close family members or other close persons of the individual’s arrest and location.” (Article 14, point 7)

When Ivan Golunov’s family and friends were notified of his arrest:

Investigator Igor Lopatin called Golunov’s friend, BBC Russian Service correspondent Svetlana Reiter, at 3:42 AM on June 7.

A call notifying Golunov’s friends of his arrest was made 12 hours and 2 minutes after his factual arrest — and 8 minutes before (!) his legal arrest.

3. Right to an attorney

What the law says:

“The arrested individual has the right to use an attorney’s (defender’s) and an interpreter’s services in correspondence with federal law from the moment of arrest.” (Article 15, point 5)

When Ivan Golunov demanded an attorney:

Immediately. “They twisted my hands behind my back; a vehicle drove up with [a police officer named] Akbar behind the wheel. […] I told Akbar that I needed an attorney.” (Ivan Golunov in the protocol on his interrogation)

When an attorney managed to reach Ivan Golunov:

Dmitry Dzhulai, an attorney with the international human rights group Agora, arrived at the police station for the Western Administrative District of Moscow, where Golunov was held, at approximately 5:30 AM on June 7.

Golunov states in the protocol on his interrogation that, in contradiction to Russian law, law enforcement officers told him that “an attorney is not necessary for the operations in which [you are] currently involved.” Golunov was only able to access his right to a qualified attorney 15 hours and 50 minutes after his factual arrest.

4. Conditions of detention

What the law says:

“Individuals detained for more than 3 hours will be provided with food according to feeding norms for suspects and defendants in criminal cases.” (Point 21 of Russia’s Provision on Conditions of Detention)

“Individuals arrested for more than 3 hours will be provided a place to sleep, accessories for their bed, and bedlinens during the nighttime.” (Point 18 of Russia’s Provision on Conditions of Detention)

Russian legal norms for feeding defendants:

Either a full-fledged hot meal or rations consisting of bread, canned food, and tea with sugar.

What Ivan Golunov received:

Nothing. He was not permitted to eat or sleep for more than 24 hours.

Mikhail Zelensky

Translation by Hilah Kohen

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