In a concerning development for radicals everywhere, Russian officials have been cracking down on journalists with renewed vigor. In particular, journalist Ivan Golunov was recently arrested on fabricated drug charges and help for six days. While Golunov was released on June 11th, following a massive outpouring of support from journalists and citizens alike, there remains a great danger to the free flow of information.
Police arrested hundreds of protestors during a Moscow march in support of Golunov, and have been generally responding with violence to the spread of the #FreeGolunov movement and related anti-repression demonstrations. Thankfully, though, there does seem to be some response to the public pressure in support of journalists. Two police officers have been fired for Golunov’s arrest, in what appears to be a direct response to mass protests and public pressure over the incident. It goes to show how important public pressure can be for fighting back against repression, but the important thing to remember is that this is not over.
Like many governments, Putin’s Russia goes through cycles of repression, backing off when the pressure at home and internationally becomes too much, but maintaining a position of opposition to journalists and other political types. It’s important to stay aware of the obstacles facing radicals around the world, and Russia’s recent attempt to target journalists should worry us greatly. We can help keep the pressure on internationally by keeping abreast of the issue, and supporting journalists like Golunov when they are targeted with arrest and other repressive tactics. An injury to one is an injury to us all.