Evan Gershkovich Appeals 3-Month Detention Extension

May 26, 2023

American journalist Evan Gershkovich has appealed a three-month extension of his detention in Russia on espionage charges.

Russian news agencies reported Tuesday that a court had extended Gershkovich’s pre-trial detention through at least August 30.

The Wall Street Journal, for whom Gershkovich works, reported Tuesday night that Gershkovich’s parents, Soviet emigres living in New Jersey, were visiting Moscow and saw their son during that brief hearing.

Arrested on March 29, Russia’s intel agency FSB said Gershkovich “was collecting classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex.”

Despite the Russian Foreign Ministry and the FSB acknowledging that Gershkovich is an accredited journalist in Russia, the 31-year-old American has been charged with espionage, which carries a potential prison sentence in Russia of up to 20 years. 

Russian authorities have not revealed what evidence they have gathered to support the espionage charges—or if they have any evidence at all.

According to the Lefortovo district court’s website, Gershkovich’s appeal was filed on Thursday. There was no information about whether a date has been set for a hearing.

In April, the State Department designated Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained,” which shifted his case to a specialized State Department section, called the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. That department is focused on negotiating for the release of captives.

And earlier this month, House Foreign Affairs Committee introduced a resolution that would call on Russia to free Gershkovich immediately. A strong bipartisan vote could add back-up to the Biden Administration’s efforts to secure the journalist’s release. 

Gershkovich is the first U.S. journalist to be detained in Russia on spying charges since the Cold War.

PHOTO: LinkedIn

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