Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich Loses New Appeal Against Pre-Trial Detention
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich loses new appeal against pre-trial detention after he was arrested on spy charges in Russia, which both he and his employer strongly deny. The extension was granted last month, pushing his detention at the infamous Lefortovo prison in Moscow until August 30.
Hilda WorkmanJun 23, 202318848 Shares355631 Views
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich loses new appeal against pre-trial detentionafter he was arrested on spy charges in Russia, which both he and his employer strongly deny. The extension was granted last month, pushing his detention at the infamous Lefortovo prison in Moscow until August 30. If convicted, he could potentially face a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Given a previous court ruling in April, which rejected a request from Gershkovich's legal team to have him placed under house arrest, subjected to movement restrictions, or granted bail, the judge's decision was not unexpected.
Standing inside the courtroom in a glass box, Evan Gershkovich, dressed in blue jeans and a black T-shirt, greeted reporters with a smile. His parents, Mikhail Gershkovich and Ella Milman, who had immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1979, were present in court to offer their support.
According to the Kremlin, Evan Gershkovich, aged 31, was allegedly apprehended "red-handed" during a visit to Yekaterinburg, a city in the Urals. The FSB security service claims that he was attempting to acquire military secrets. However, no substantiating evidence has been provided to support this allegation, which the newspaper vehemently denies.
During the hearing at Moscow City Court, the presence of Lynne Tracy, the US ambassador to Russia, was noted. Expressing her views to the press outside the court, Ambassador Tracy expressed deep disappointment over the decision to dismiss Gershkovich's appeal.
“This was a procedural hearing, appealing the conditions of his continued detention and we were extremely disappointed by the denial of his appeal.”
Tracy mentioned that she was unable to communicate directly with Evan at the courthouse today and strongly criticized Russia's refusal to grant consular access to US diplomats.
Failing to comply with its obligations under the consular convention enforced between our two countries, Russia has denied the US embassy’s requests for formal consular access on three occasions since I last visited Evan in April. Nonetheless, today, in the courtroom, Evan continued to show remarkable strength and resiliency in these very difficult circumstances.- Lynne Tracy, the US ambassador to Russia
On Thursday, TASS, the Russian state news agency, reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry was evaluating a request from the United States for consular access to Evan Gershkovich. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal issued a statement denouncing Gershkovich's ongoing detention as “outrageous.”
Our colleague Evan Gershkovich appeared in Moscow City Court today for an appeal against his ongoing pretrial detention. Although the outcome was expected, it is no less an outrage that his detention continues to be upheld. Evan has been wrongfully detained for more than 12 weeks for nothing more than doing his job as a journalist. We continue to demand his immediate release.- The Wall Street Journal
Evan Gershkovich's arrest in March marked the first detention of an American reporter in Russia on spying charges since the Cold War era. This development has caused concern among White House officials and has added strain to the already tense relationship between Moscow and Washington.
The US State Department has formally declared Gershkovich as being wrongfully detained in Russia, while President Joe Biden has been direct in his statements regarding the journalist's arrest, urging Russia to release him.
In addition to Evan Gershkovich, Ambassador Tracy emphasized that Washington is demanding the immediate release of Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine who was detained in Russia in 2018 and subsequently sentenced to 16 years in prison in June 2020 on espionage charges. Both Gershkovich and Whelan have been designated by the United States as wrongfully detained, indicating that the U.S. considers the verdicts to be baseless and driven by political motivations.