Russia: Court Extends Detention Of Wall Street Journal Reporter
MOSCOW (ANI) – A Russian court has extended the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for a third time since he was taken into custody in March on an allegation of espionage, The Wall Street Journal reported. Gershkovich, who is being held at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, has denied the allegation.
The court’s ruling on November 28 has extended his detention through at least January 30 of next year. The court’s decision comes after a judge in August agreed to the request of investigators from the Federal Security Service that Gershkovich remain in prison awaiting trial until November 30, The Wall Streat
On March 29, FSB agents detained Gershkovich, a 32-year-old US citizen who was accredited by Russia’s Foreign Ministry to work as a journalist. Russian investigators have not publicly released evidence regarding the allegation that they have made against Gershkovich. The US government has stressed that Gershkovich has been wrongfully detained, according to The Wall Street Journal report.
The decision of Lefortovo District Court to extend the detention of Gershkovich follows the jailing of another American journalist, Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor for Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in October. Kurmasheva, a Russian American citizen, is being held in pretrial detention until at least December 5 on an allegation she did not register herself as a “foreign agent,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Supporters of Kurmasheva have said that they believe she has been targeted due to her US citizenship and her profession. However, the Kremlin has denied the allegation. Her employer and family have urged the US State Department to determine that she has been wrongfully detained.
Earlier on September 19, Lynne Tracy, the US Ambassador to Russia, said that Evan Gershkovich has been “wrongfully detained” in Russia, according to the statement released by the US Embassy in Russia.
Tracy said, “Evan is an American journalist whom Russian authorities have wrongfully detained in Russia for nearly six months. The US position remains unwavering. The charges against Evan are baseless. The Russian government locked Evan up for simply doing his job. Journalism is not a crime.”
She also spoke about her meeting with Gershkovich in Lefortovo prison and stated that the journalist is fully aware of the “gravity of his situation,” according to the statement released by the US Embassy in Russia.
“I was able to visit him at the Lefortovo prison last week. Evan is fully aware of the gravity of his situation, yet he remains remarkably strong. True to his profession, Evan is always eager to discuss the latest headlines,” Lynne Tracy said.
“He knew, for example, that his parents had delivered a petition to the United Nations last week, a petition that calls on the UN to make clear that he has been arbitrarily detained and to push for his immediate release. He also shared that he is keeping his mind sharp through games of chess by mail with his father,” she added.