Ivan Golunov has made a behavior of annoying highly effective individuals. As an investigative journalist with Meduza, one of many few impartial Russian-language information retailers, he’s spent years reporting on the ways in which the rich and properly related round Russia have acted as if they’ll get away with virtually something. However his editors assume his newest story is what finally landed him in jail, simply two hours after he’d filed it.
Golunov’s story targeted on the seedy underbelly of the funeral trade in Moscow, a enterprise that during the last decade has been a hotbed of threats, violence, and shady offers. Starting in 2008, a bunch of males from town of Khimki, simply outdoors of Moscow, established a stranglehold over the native funeral trade, utilizing their ringleader’s position in native authorities to easy their progress. Because the group’s affect grew, the boys opted to increase into Moscow, the place the group prospered — till it was itself taken over by one other group from town of Stavropol from the south.
When filed, Golunov’s piece tracked the historical past of those teams, their use of threats and alleged violence to maintain management of their turf, and their connections with high-ranking officers within the FSB, the home intelligence service. These connections, his editors say, are what brought about Moscow police to cease him on the road June 6. Medication allegedly discovered on him and at his residence have been grounds for the police to arrest him — Golunov all the time insisted that they weren’t his. As soon as in custody, Golunov’s lawyer stated, he was crushed and denied the possibility to show that the medicine weren’t his.
“Ivan Golunov’s arrest got here as a shock to us,” Konstantin Benyumov, the editor of Golunov’s newest article, advised BuzzFeed Information. “Having labored in Russia for 5 years, and realizing full properly the federal government’s angle in direction of impartial press, we thought the outlet would possibly run into hassle with the Kremlin, however the truth that they might go after particular person reporters appeared past perception. As we all know now, it was not the Kremlin who was after Ivan in spite of everything. Extra seemingly, the drug case in opposition to him was sanctioned by somebody who was sad along with his investigation into the corruption within the Moscow funeral trade.”
5 days later, after an outcry that introduced a whole lot into the streets of Moscow and condemnation from all over the world, Golunov was launched and all costs in opposition to him dropped. The Ministry of the Inside introduced that it will be firing a number of the officers who performed an element in arresting him. The case remains to be open — however now with Golunov as a witness as an alternative of a defendant.
You may learn Golunov’s full story in English right here.