Following his arrest on espionage allegations on Tuesday amid the Kremlin’s extensive crackdown on press freedom during the war in Ukraine, a Russian judge upheld Evan Gershkovich’s incarceration.
A Moscow City Court judge rejected the reporter’s appeal of Gershkovich’s arrest after Gershkovich arrived in court. The judge decided that Wall Street Journal journalist for Russia Gershkovich must remain in jail while an investigation and trial take place. He might receive a 20-year sentence if found guilty.
First American journalist to be held in Russia on espionage allegations since the Cold War was Gershkovich, a citizen of the United States, who was accused of spying for the American government by Russia’s Federal Security Service.
The charges have been vigorously refuted by the American government, Gershkovich, and the Journal.
“The allegations of espionage against Evan are untrue, and he is being unlawfully jailed. In a statement released after Gershkovich’s hearing, Dow Jones CEO Almar Latour and Journal publisher Emma Tucker stated that they “demand his immediate release and are doing everything in our power to secure it.”
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Last week, the United States charged that Gershkovich had been “wrongfully detained” and urged Russia to give the journalist access to consular services.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday, “We’re deeply concerned by the news that Russia will continue to wrongfully detain Evan following a sham judicial proceeding, as we saw earlier today.”
Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who has been held in Russia for four years, as well as Gershkovich are being pursued by the Biden administration “through every channel” available, she said.
According to the statement from Latour and Tucker, Gershkovich received his first visit since being held on Monday, during which the American ambassador to Russia and his attorneys were given consular access.
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