The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, has made the following statement with regard to the situation of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in Russia:
“I am very much concerned and saddened by reports coming from Moscow alleging that investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was subjected to violence and injured by police forces while in custody in a Moscow police station.
Violence by police during investigation procedures is absolutely prohibited by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the Russian Federation is party.
Moreover, the fact that Mr Golunov claims that evidence against him was manipulated raises even greater suspicion over the current situation.
Taking into account the particular gravity of the alleged facts, I call on the Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, Mr Kolokoltsev, to personally address this situation.
I also hope that Human Rights Commissioner Moskalkova will look into these allegations.
Freedom of expression and the right to security are fundamental in a democratic society and law enforcement bodies must also defend these values.”
Spokesperson of the European External Action Service also made a statement, underlining that the European Union relevant institutuios follows closely the case of journalist Godunov, arrested in Moscow.
British Forign Secretary Jeremy Hunt made a statement via his Twitter microblog on the arrest of Ivan Golunov. He also mentioned “fear of retribution” among negative effects on practice of investigative journalism in Russia in general.
According to Golunov’s lawyer Chikov claims his client suffered from police brutalty, being beaten at his arrival to custody. He added paramedics suspected Golunov had suffered broken ribs, bruising and a concussion, and that “police chiefs” were refusing his hospitalisation
Today the international organisation Reporters without borders (RSF) launched mobiliseation to manifest in front of Russian Embassy in Paris, demanding liberation of Golunov, and dropping all charges against him.