Police begin arresting protesters demanding ‘Meduza’ journalist Ivan Golunov's release
Moscow police have begun arresting those who initiated individual pickets outside the central Moscow branch of Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry to demand the release of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. The YouTube channel “Moscow’s Megaphone” is livestreaming the arrests.
Police have been bringing picketers to a police van “to check their documents.” Officers have refused to call their actions arrests, but some picketers have been led away by three or four officers at a time.
There are three police vans outside the building. One of them has already departed with arrested protesters inside.
Those arrested include the journalists Pavel Kanygin, Ilya Azar, Andrey Borzenko, Alexander Polivanov, Viktoria Ivleva, Ildar Sadreyev, Alexander Urzhanov, and Grigory Tumanov as well as the writer Viktor Shenderovich.
Ivan Golunov was arrested on June 6. He was charged with attempting to sell drugs in large quantities. Golunov denies the charges against him and argues that the drugs were planted. After he was arrested, Golunov was prevented for more than 12 hours from contacting an attorney. He was beaten at the police station where he was held and was subsequently prohibited from calling an ambulance.
Police also refused to take hand swabs and nail clippings from Golunov for the purpose of determining whether or not he touched the packets of drugs in question.