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Russian civil society forces the Kremlin to release falsely accused journalist Golounov, June 11, 2

Ivan Golounov was arrested, charged with selling 'mephedrone' yet the photographs supplied by the Russian police were not taken in his apartment, there were no traces of drugs in his blood and his fingerprints were not on the sachets. It was assumed the Russian police operated in this manner. The Russian Minister for the Interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev suspended a number of of police officers including investigating two senior officers. Goulonov, on his release June 11, 2019 vowed to fight for other people in this position. This climb down was unprecedented in Russia.

Pressure was applied by Meduza an internet publication based in Riga, Latvia, in order to avoid control by the Russian authorities who arrested Golounov June 7. Meduza engaged social media to arrange protestors to stand 50metres apart in compliance with Russian rules on protests. Posters with 'We are Ivan Golounov' were displayed. Establishment journals Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK mimiced the French 'Je suis Charlie.'

Reassured that Golounov did not abuse drugs, the corruption of the Mayor of Moscow and the mafia of the 'business of cemeteries' along with the current practices of the police was highlighted. Radio Echo of Moscow and Tv Dojd were recruited. Russia Today TV made enquiries. The actor Konstantin Khabenski usually discreet, said at the Sotchi Film Festival, today, 'one can incarcerate a deranged journalist, tomorrow we could all be considered deranged and arrested.'

Further, Putin was alarmed to find 200,000 signatures of support on the internet. Bot alexei Navalny and Leonid Volkov were imprisone for 35 days for public protests. Arkhangelsk and Yekaterineberg Cathedral were the focus of protests. The idea of liberty was the focus of recent protests. This could be the start of mass protests.

Source: Le Kremlin face á a société civile, Le Monde Intenational, Juin 13, 2019

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