Russian newspapers unite in support of journalist held on drug charge

Russian President, Vladimir Putin
Russian President, Vladimir Putin [Photo Credit: Washington Times]

Three of Russia’s most popular newspapers on Monday united in support of journalist Ivan Golunov, who has been arrested on a questionable drug charge, local media reported.

The newspapers Vedomosti, Kommersant, and RBC each published in large type on their cover page the phrase “I am/We are Ivan Golunov,’’ accompanied by editorials calling for inquiries into the case.

Mr Golunov, arrested recently, is best known for writing hard-hitting investigative pieces about the Moscow city government for the widely read independent news site, Meduza.

Authorities allege that Mr Golunov, 36, was found in possession of the synthetic stimulant, mephedrone, commonly known as bath salts.

He faces a charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

In a report on the case, Meduza alleged that the journalist had been framed and beaten by police.

“Golunov was examined by an ambulance team that determined he had a concussion, a hematoma and potentially broken ribs,’’ it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said the Kremlin was closely monitoring the case.

“This specific case has raised some questions, many questions,’’ spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, in comments carried by state news agency TASS.



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