Russian HRC Member Says Police Exceeded Authority Detaining Journalists At Rally In Moscow

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Russian HRC Member Says Police Exceeded Authority Detaining Journalists at Rally in Moscow

Alexander Brod, a member of the Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, believes that the police exceeded their authority when detaining reporters at a rally in support of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th June, 2019) Alexander Brod, a member of the Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, believes that the police exceeded their authority when detaining reporters at a rally in support of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov.

Earlier, several Russian media reported detention of their correspondents during an unauthorized rally in central Moscow in support of Ivan Golunov. Some of the journalists have already been released without a protocol. According to the Russian Interior Ministry, 1,200 people took part in the uncoordinated action in Moscow, more than 200 were detained for committing administrative offenses.

"As for the detention of journalists, of course, I believe that it was not worth doing. In my opinion, the police have exceeded their authority here, but this issue needs to be probed specifically," Brod told Sputnik.

According to Brod, his colleagues from the council were also present as observers at the scene and will continue to investigate each case of detention.

"We will keep the situation under control," he added.

The head of the council's Commission on Freedom of Information and Human Rights of Journalists, Pavel Gusev, believes that the police should not have detained journalists who had editorial IDs while covering public events.

"Indeed, the rally was not coordinated, and the mayor's office and the police did warn that if they came out, they would be detained. Unfortunately, journalists were detained, although some had editorial tasks. We are now trying to release these journalists as soon as possible, so that they could return to work," Gusev told Sputnik.

Golunov, who is known for covering cases related to corruption, was arrested on June 6 after police found drugs in his possession. Golunov insisted that he had been framed, but was put under house arrest, nonetheless. The protesters were initially going to demand Golunov's release, but the charges against the journalist were dropped on Tuesday over lack of evidence against him.

Golunov's story has drawn massive attention both from the authorities and journalistic community. Three leading Russian newspapers issued a joint statement voicing their concern that Golunov's case might be linked to his investigative journalistic work.

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