Russia: detention of American journalist Gershkovich extended until August 30

Russia: detention of American journalist Gershkovich extended until 30 August


A Russian court on Tuesday extended until August 30 the pretrial detention of US Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested in March on “espionage” charges that he denies.

“The court has accepted the request of the investigators to extend the preventive measure in the form of detention until August 30”, indicated the court, quoted by the Russian press agencies.

This decision corresponds to what the Russian security services (FSB) demanded.

The Kremlin claims that Evan Gershkovich was arrested in “flagrante delicto”, without advancing any evidence, the file being classified secret. He is notably accused of having collected information on the Russian defense industry.

Evan Gershkovich, his family, his employer, the Wall Street Journal and the American authorities categorically reject these charges liable to 20 years in prison.

Evan Gershkovich, who previously worked for AFP in Moscow, is the first foreign journalist arrested in Russia for “espionage” since the fall of the Soviet Union. He is currently in the Moscow prison of Lefortovo.

Russia on Friday banned a consular visit to the journalist for the second time, a decision presented by Moscow as a retaliatory measure after Washington refused to give visas to certain Russian journalists in April during the visit of the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov to the UN in New York.

His arrest is part of the context of serious diplomatic tensions between the States States and Russia provoked by the conflict in Ukraine, where Washington supports Kiev militarily and financially against Moscow.