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No sleep for 42 hours: Russian journalist Golunov recalls ordeal in prison under bogus charges

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After journalist Ivan Golunov was detained by Moscow police on bogus drug charges, he spent hours demanding a lawyer, but instead was kept awake for hours and harassed by cops, he told RT.

The detention of Golunov last week, and his release days later amid a public outcry, was one of the biggest stories for the Russian journalistic community in recent history. Charged with dealing drugs, he was fully cleared and is now a witness in a law enforcement probe against narcotic police officers, whom he accused of framing him and abusing him while in custody.

In an interview with RT, the investigative journalist said cops were apparently expecting him to fold and admit to a crime he did not commit, but he stood up to them.

“I kept telling them that they had to inform my relatives about the arrest and that I wanted a lawyer. I even told them the name of my lawyer. But they said they wouldnt allow it. No calls,” he said. “I was told that I couldnt have any of that, because… I could warn my accomplices and tell them to destroy all the evidence.”

Also on rt.com Freed journalist Golunov 'moved' by public support but uncomfortable with sudden popularity

He refused to sign any papers, except when police brought him to a clinic – which operates under the Health Ministry rather than Interior Ministry – for drug tests. Golunov said it was his chance to resist.

“You see, whenever I was required to sign anything, I wrote on those papers that I was refused a lawyer, that they refused to inform my relatives of my whereabouts, that I believed the police were acting unlawfully, and that I demanded a different police squad be called in to establish this fact and investigate the situation,” he told RT.

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Also on rt.com 100s attend unsanctioned rally in Moscow to support journalist after drug case against him dropped

Insisting that his rights were being violated, Golunov would not cooperate with the police in any way. At one point he said he wouldnt move until he sees his lawyer, and the cops allegedly dragged him around in response.

“I said I refuse to go anywhere, and that they could carry me if they liked. I dont see anything particularly wrong with that phrase but it seemed to have irritated one of the policemen greatly, and he hit me in the face twice. I didnt understand why. I didnt cross any lines,” he said.

“The police officers attempted to drag me out. I tried to hold on to my seat and other objects, to the staircase railing,” he recalled. “They dragged me outside. One of them went to get the car, and the other stepped on my chest and stood like that until the car arrived. Then they grabbed me by my arms and legs and shoved me into the back seat.”

Also on rt.com Russian journalist Golunov released after drug case against him dropped

His non-cooperation slowed things down, but so did the police officers. Golunov said he spent much time sitting in a police car not far from his home before they started a search. The journalist claims this may have given cops time to plant evidence against him. The delays piled up until 42 hours had passed since Golunov had slept. He said he also refused food and Read More – Source

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