Police resume arresting protesters during picket in support of ‘Meduza’ correspondent Ivan Golunov
Meduza’s correspondent outside the Moscow branch of Russia’s Internal Affairs ministry has reported that arrests outside the building have resumed. Municipal legislator Viktor Kotov has been taken away in a police van.
Earlier today, police arrested a dozen picketers, most of them journalists, but released them without filing any reports.
Because any public demonstration involving more than one person must be approved by the government in advance to have legal status in Russia, the picketers are standing in line to take turns holding up their signs by the building. Police have repeatedly told the protesters to disperse. The legal distance between individual picketers in Russia is 50 meters, and police officers have begun using tape measures in case the distance between any two protesters undercuts that limit.
The YouTube channel “Moscow’s Megaphone” has been livestreaming the picket.
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.