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Evan Gershkovich: Wall Street Journal journalist’s preventive detention appeal rejected | cnn

Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Evan Gershkovich stands inside the defendants’ cage ahead of a hearing in Moscow on Tuesday.


A Moscow court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich against his pre-trial detention on espionage charges, according to Russian state media.

The decision is the latest legal setback for Gershkovich, whose pretrial detention has been extended twice since his arrest, once in May and again in August. An appeal against his first preventive detention was also denied.

With the court’s latest decision, Gershkovich will remain in prison until at least November 30, Russian news agency Tass reported.

Gershkovich was arrested in March while on a reporting trip. The FSB, Russia’s main security service, accused him of trying to obtain state secrets, an accusation that Gershkovich and his employer have strenuously denied.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Gershkovich was seen in a glass enclosure wearing jeans and a light shirt shortly before the hearing. Also in the room was the United States ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy.

“The United States’ position remains unwavering. The charges against Evan are unfounded. The Russian government imprisoned Evan simply for doing his job. “Journalism is not a crime,” Tracy told reporters outside the courthouse.

Tracy added that he had visited Gershkovich last week in Russia’s notorious Lefortovo prison, where the journalist is being held.

“Evan is fully aware of the seriousness of his situation, but he remains remarkably strong,” she said, adding that he keeps his mind sharp by playing chess with his father by mail.

Gershkovich’s continued imprisonment has been a source of tension between Washington and Moscow, whose relations were already deeply strained due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The White House alleges that the Kremlin is using Gershkovich, the first American reporter imprisoned in Russia on spying charges since the Cold War, as a geopolitical hostage.

“The world knows that the charges against Evan are baseless: He was arrested in Russia simply while doing his job as a journalist, and Russia is holding him for pressure because he is an American,” said White House press secretary Karine. Jean-Pierre said in July on the occasion of Gershkovich’s 100th anniversary behind bars.

The US State Department declared in April that Gershkovich had been unjustly detained, a measure that allowed the Biden administration to seek his release through avenues such as a prisoner exchange.

Although there is talk of an exchange between the White House and the Kremlin have taken placeThey have not been able to obtain their release.

President Joe Biden said he is “serious about doing what we can to free Americans who are illegally detained in Russia or anywhere else.” And that process is underway.”

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