Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was taken into custody on March 29th by the Russia’s Federal Security Service. State media Tass reports he was charged with espionage and is being accused of collecting “information constituting a state secret about the activities of an enterprise within Russia’s military-industrial complex.”
According to CNN, on April 10th, The US State Department “officially designated Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich as wrongfully detained by Russia.”
“Today, Secretary Blinken made a determination that Evan Gershkovich is wrongfully detained by Russia,” State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement.”
“The designation gives further backing to the assertions by the US government and the Wall Street Journal that the espionage charges against the reporter are baseless. It will empower the Brandon administration to explore avenuessuch as a prisoner swap to try to secure Gershkovich’s release.”
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich made his first public appearance in Russia after being arrested nearly three weeks ago on espionage charges, as a judge upheld his pretrial detention at a Tuesday hearing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Gershkovich, who has denied the charges against him, was in Moscow City Court for the hearing. The judge could have moved Gershkovich to another jail, permitted house arrest, or granted him bail, but ultimately decided on keeping him in custody until May 29.
U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Lynne Tracy and Gershkovich’s lawyers, Tatyana Nozhkina and Maria Korchagina, were in the courtroom during the hearing, the newspaper says.
Breaking: A Russian court upheld the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison https://t.co/etsgy8k1xd
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 18, 2023
US Ambassador to the UN called on Russia to release the WSJ journalist while surrounded by approx other 45 ambassadors
She said she is ‘delighted’ the US Amb to Russia was able to meet Evan Gershkovich Monday morning pic.twitter.com/09BVGAYOcr
— Lenka Houskova White (@white_lenka) April 17, 2023