Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov spoke out about how he was detained and alleged police brutality during an exclusive interview with RT in Moscow on Sunday.
“We got close to the apartment and one of the criminal investigators with surprising ease and speed found the right key from a bunch of 20 keys and opened the door on the first try,” he said, adding that when he told officers he was not going anywhere he was struck in the face twice. “I don’t think that my phrase was that insulting,” he said about the incident.
“Police officers, criminal investigators started to drag me. I held on to a bench, onto some objects, stair rails. We fell down at some point. They were dragging me down the stairs,” Golunov continued. He also said that one of the police officers stood on his chest while another brought the car, into which he was bundled.
“The police officers didn’t allude to it except one mysterious phrase: ‘[Don’t act] as if you don’t know why you were detained,’” Golunov said, adding that he assumed that it was to do with his work as a journalist because he had “never had anything related to drugs: neither use, nor storage or, let alone drug dealing.”
The Meduza journalist was arrested on June 6 on charges of drug dealing. Police alleged that he was found carrying four grams of methamphetamine in his rucksack and he was charged.
Golunov received an outcry of support from Russian media and celebrities who claimed the charges were trumped up in retaliation for his work.
He was released on June 11, as all charges against him were dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin later fired two police generals over the discredited criminal case against the journalist.