Evan Gershkovich loses another appeal in Russian court

October 10, 2023

Wrongfully detained U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich on Tuesday lost his third appeal for release in Moscow City Court. 

“The decision of the Lefortovo Court of Moscow dated August 24, 2023 on extending the period of detention in relation to Gershkovich until November 30, 2023 is left unchanged, the appeal is not satisfied,” says the court decision announced on Tuesday.

The same court on September 19 denied his appeal after, on August 24, it extended Gershkovich’s detention by three months into the end of November. 

The 31-year-old American journalist was arrested in March. Russia’s FSB security services claimed that Gershkovich, who reports for the Wall Street Journal, “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 American has been charged with espionage, which carries a potential prison sentence in Russia of up to 20 years. 

Both Gershkovich and the Wall Street Journal deny the allegations against him.

The U.S. State Department has designated Gershkovich “wrongfully detained” which shifted supervision of 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.

Like the earlier hearings, Tuesday’s court hearing was held behind closed doors because the materials of the criminal case are classified. Reporters were only allowed into the courtroom briefly at the start, where they saw Gershkovich inside a plexiglass and wood box, wearing the same clothes he had been arrested in. He smiled and laughed with reporters through the glass, but was not permitted to speak. 

PHOTO: LinkedIn

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