On Tuesday, a Moscow court dismissed Evan Gershkovich’s appeal against his pretrial detention in Russia on espionage accusations. The Wall Street Journal, where Gershkovich works, and the US government vehemently refute the allegations.
The first American journalist detained in Russia since the end of the Cold War, Gershkovich was arrested on March 29 while conducting a story in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. He may spend up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of espionage accusations.
Since the U.S. government determined that Gershkovich had been “wrongfully detained” for approximately a week, the State Department’s official office will be responsible for securing his release.
“I can only say how troubling it was to see Evan, an innocent journalist, held in these circumstances,” After Tuesday’s decision, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy spoke to reporters outside the Moscow tribunal. Tracy was given permission to meet Gershkovich for the first time on Monday in the Lefortovo jail in Moscow.“We will continue to provide all available support to Evan and his family, and we expect Russian authorities to provide continued consular access to Evan. The charges against Evan are baseless, and we call on the Russian federation to immediately release him.”
“While we expected this development, it is nonetheless disappointing,” Almar Latour, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, and Emma Tucker, the editor-in-chief, stated in a statement.“Evan is wrongfully detained and the charges of espionage against him are false. We demand his immediate release and are doing everything in our power to secure it.” According to them, Gershkovich’s next hearing is planned for late May.
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After the decision on Tuesday, Gershkovich’s attorneys told the media that their client was “in good spirits” and appreciative of the “huge support” he was getting.
President Biden spoke to Gershkovich’s parents last week and denounced the incarceration of the politician.
Mr. Biden stated, “We’re making it real clear that it’s totally illegal what’s happening, and we declared it so.”
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