U.S. deems WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich ‘wrongfully detained’ by Russia

By | April 10, 2023

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The State Department on Monday designated Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested by Russian security services last month, as ”wrongfully detained,” launching a broad U.S. government effort to exert pressure on Russia to free him.

Mr. Gershkovich is held on an accusation of espionage that the Journal and the U.S. government vehemently deny. His case now shifts to a State Department section known as the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which is focused on negotiating for the release of hostages and other Americans classified as wrongfully detained in foreign countries.

“Journalism is not a crime,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said in a statement. “We call for the Russian Federation to immediately release Mr. Gershkovich.”

The department also called on Russia to release another American, Paul Whelan, whom it has also declared wrongfully detained. He was sentenced to serve 16 years in a Russian penal colony and remains incarcerated. His family says the charges are bogus. [Continue reading…]