Russia extends detention of American journalist Evan Gershkovich by 3 months
Russian news agencies report that a court has extended the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for three months.
MOSCOW — A Russian court on Tuesday extended the arrest of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich by three months, Russian news agencies reported.
Gershkovich, a US citizen, was detained until August 30. He had been arrested in March for spying on a reporting trip to Russia. He, his employer and the US government have denied the charges.
Tuesday’s hearing was not announced in advance and the whole matter was kept under wraps.
Russian authorities have not detailed what evidence – if any – they have gathered to support the espionage charges. Various court proceedings were closed to the media, and no details immediately emerged as to whether Gershkovich or U.S. Embassy officials attended Tuesday’s hearing or what was said. Tass said the session was closed because the journalist was accused of possessing “secret documents”.
Gershkovich is the first American correspondent since the Cold War to be detained in Russia for espionage, and his arrest has rattled journalists in the country and sparked outrage in the West.
The US government declared Gershkovich “wrongfully detained” and demanded his immediate release. He is being held in Lefortovo prison in Moscow. U.S. Embassy officials have been allowed to visit at least one prison in Gershkovich since his arrest in Yekaterinburg on March 29, but Russian authorities have denied permission for further visits.