‘He doesn't understand what's going on’ Ivan Golunov's attorney says his condition is poor, but investigators have refused to believe ambulance crews
Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov was arrested on the afternoon of June 6. The Russian journalism community believes that the charges against him are a form of persecution for his investigative work. Golunov’s attorneys have pointed to a number of legal violations during the journalist’s arrest and in the early stages of the investigation against him. On June 8, after three different ambulance crews were called to examine Golunov, he was admitted to City Hospital No. 71 in southwest Moscow due to multiple health problems: doctors believe he has a concussion and potentially broken ribs. Dmitry Dzhulai, one of Golunov’s attorneys, described the journalist’s condition and explained how his defense team managed to get him to a hospital against investigators’ wishes.
Today, [Internal Affairs Ministry investigators] presented Ivan with charges under Article 228.1, Part 4, Point D of Russia’s Criminal Codex through Article 30 (preparation for the sale of narcotic substances). Then, they attempted to question Ivan, but he began feeling poorly. Olga Dinze [another of Golunov’s attorneys] and I attempted to submit a petition to cancel today’s investigative actions and have him hospitalized.
At first, an ambulance was called for him, the first brigade, but the investigator didn’t allow [doctors] to approach him. Then, I called a second brigade from my own phone — they gave a preliminary diagnosis of a concussion, two broken ribs, and multiple bruises and hematomas on the back of the head. They said Ivan required hospitalization and an X-ray.
After that, lead investigator [Yevgeny] Mashin appeared and demanded that a third brigade be called in to confirm the second’s diagnosis. When the third brigade arrived, Mashin put all kinds of pressure on the medical staff and openly objected to the possibility of hospitalization. However, the third brigade confirmed the second’s diagnosis and insisted on hospitalization.
Despite the demands of two medical brigades (which included four doctors), the investigator said that we would be leaving for the Nikulinsky Court to extend Ivan’s detention to 72 hours. He was arrested at 2:30 PM on the sixth, and his arrest period [the 48-hour maximum granted by law] had already passed, meaning that he was being illegally detained at that point [because police began their countdown only when they recorded his arrest]. So we drove to the Nikulinsky Court even though, legally, the arrest period is counted from the moment an individual’s movement is factually limited.
Ivan feels very poorly. He’s sitting in an armchair; he doesn’t understand what’s going on; he reacts badly to light. Maybe — I’m not a doctor — but maybe that has to do with the concussion.
He practically hasn’t eaten anything, practically hasn’t slept. He doesn’t understand what’s going on. He can’t participate in the investigation. He doesn’t fully understand the charges against him. He can’t give testimony. But none of that concerns the investigators.
We brought him water. Ivan’s brother said they weren’t letting his relatives give him food in the holding cell. That’s according to Ivan’s brother. Ivan’s brother said Ivan is afraid to eat the food they give him in the holding sell because he’s afraid they could contaminate it with drugs to compromise him.
We [Ivan’s attorneys] have not been able to speak with him alone today or yesterday. Our conversation took place with police officers present. That is a violation of the rights guaranteed to him by the Codex of Criminal Procedure — the right to speak to an attorney alone.
In my presence, [the police] treated him correctly, but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that he practically hasn’t eaten or slept for more than two full days, the fact that he has been in handcuffs [the entire time], or the fact that he feels very poorly and doesn’t understand what’s happening. They have been denying him hospitalization and medical aid.
By law, this criminal case shouldn’t exist at all. Ivan should be released, and they should apologize to him. Because we live in Russia, you understand yourself that it’s impossible for us to take a guess on prospects like those.
Translation by Hilah Kohen