Great victory for press freedom in Russia: drug dealing charges against Ivan Golunov have been withdrawn and the journalist will soon be released. And two senior police officers involved in the arrest were suspended. The Interior Ministry quoted by Ria Novosti says this. Known for his investigations into the mafia and corruption, Golunov, 36, is a journalist from Meduza, a news site in Russian and English based in Riga, Latvia, to escape censorship, but has several reporters in the Federation. To ask for his arrest, NGOs, journalists, rappers and intellectuals had mobilized to complain that the journalist had been framed because his inquiries were annoying
Accused of being found in possession of mephedrone and cocaine, the journalist had been subjected to house arrest after spending almost two days in police custody, almost without eating or sleeping, and having reported being beaten at the time of arrest. Golunov had rejected the accusations: "I have not committed any crime and I am ready to collaborate in the investigations. I have no connection with drugs and I have never used them."
In the last 13 months Golunov had received numerous death threats from the people involved in the investigation he was working on. He had sent the finished article just a few hours before the arrest. To request his release, over 100 thousand people had signed an online petition and various humanitarian organizations and NGOs such as Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International had mobilized. And yesterday the three main Russian economic newspapers - Vedomosti, Kommersant, Rbk - had published the same first page with the title: "I, we are Ivan Golunov". An unprecedented solidarity move.