Whos is Russian journalist, Ivan Golunov?
Why did the authorities allow a harsh dispersal of the peaceful march on Unity Day?
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the dismissal of two police generals – Andrei Puchkov and Yuri Devyatkin, the Kremlin press service reported on Thursday, June 13. The generals were the chiefs of police officers involved in fabricating evidence in the case against Ivan Golunov, a correspondent for the Internet publication Meduza. After the inconsistency of the charges became apparent, as well as as a result of widely publicized in the media and social networks protests of civil society activists and colleagues in the journalistic profession, the case was dropped, and Ivan Golunov himself was released.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, during the rally, originally conceived as a march for Golunov’s freedom, over five hundred people were detained, according to the latest data. Among them were many journalists representing both Russian and foreign publications..
The Permanent Commission on Freedom of Information and the Rights of Journalists of the Council under the President of Russia expressed “extreme concern” in this regard.
When ensuring the safety of citizens at mass rallies, one must not forget the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the right of citizens to unite, as well as the right of journalists to cover events, human rights activists recalled.
Professor of the Moscow Economic Institute, Doctor of Philosophy Igor Chubais took part in the dispersed march. He believes that there are fanatics in power who do not stop at anything, and it was by their order that people were seized indiscriminately in the very center of Moscow yesterday, using force against them..
“It was relatively calm at first,” he says. – But when we came close to the building of the Internal Affairs Directorate on Petrovka, then some wild antics began on the part of the Rosgvardia officers. They just jumped like predators into the community of people who stood calmly, without provoking the situation, pulled out someone at their discretion, grabbed by the arms and legs and roughly dragged them into the paddy wagons. “.
According to the professor, “the Russian guards in” mind-proof helmets “behaved in relation to their compatriots like fascists.” This became possible because the power is inadequate and disproportionate to reality, he said..
“Of course, there are different groups in the government,” he added. – Some officials were determined to relieve tension in society by releasing Golunov. And the other part, apparently, considered it their defeat and decided to take revenge. They decided: we pressed, we will press and we will press, do not care about all the laws – what constitution, what holiday ?! This is a shame on the authorities. This is power that is equal to powerlessness “.
According to Igor Chubais, in this case, international solidarity should show itself..
“Violation of human rights is not a problem of a single country, but a common human problem. Unfortunately, the West does not react properly to the lawlessness perpetrated in Russia, “he summed up.
In turn, an opposition politician, ex-State Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov noted in a commentary for the Russian service of Voice of America that the authorities seem to have decided: it is enough to let go of Ivan Golunov, and no one else will go out to protest on the streets. But the Kremlin miscalculated, he stressed: “They do not understand that a radical protest has ripened in society, and people are no longer afraid of reprisals. Those who gathered yesterday understood perfectly well that they would be “screwed”. Nevertheless, a lot of people came out in Moscow “.
As it seems to the politician, the thoughtless decision of the authorities only embitters the society. This anger will not go anywhere, it accumulates, he believes: “In general, if Ivan Golunov had not been released, fifty or one hundred thousand people would have taken to the streets. There is no doubt about that. Moreover, a pre-revolutionary situation could arise in Russia. Thank God, someone upstairs had the idea not to bring it up to this. The authorities managed to split the protest. But all for the time being “.
According to Gennady Gudkov, the authorities are making a gross mistake, not turning from the path of repression against citizens..
“When the government loses its political adequacy, it digs a hole for itself, into which it will surely fall. He who sows the wind will reap the storm. It will be a radical protest, and then no one will come to an agreement, no one will ask permission to hold a peaceful demonstration, ”he concluded..