Lawyers for an American reporter jailed in Russia were able to meet with him Tuesday in a Moscow prison, nearly a week after he was arrested on espionage charges.
“Evan’s health is good, and he is grateful for the outpouring of support from around the world. We continue to call for his immediate release,” Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Emma Tucker said in a note to the newsroom. “The legal avenue is one of several avenues we are working to advocate for Evan’s release. We continue to work with the White House, State Department and relevant U.S. government officials to secure Evan’s release.”
On March 30, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement it had arrested Evan Gershkovich, 31, of the Wall Street Journal because he was “suspected of spying in the interests of the American government.”
In a statement released Tuesday, Tucker and Almar Latour, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, called Gershkovich’s arrest “wholly unjustified and an attack on a free press.”
“Evan is a distinguished journalist who is accredited by the Russian government to report from Russia. He was doing what journalists do – asking questions and providing an eyewitness account in the region to help keep the world well informed,” the statement said. “We are doing everything in our power to bring Evan home safely and will not rest until he is reunited with his family.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that he had spoken to his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, about the detention. According to a statement from the Secretary of State’s office, Blinken “conveyed the United States’ grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a U.S. citizen journalist” and “called for his immediate release.”
According to FSB, Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg, a city 900 miles away from Moscow in the Ural Mountains, for gathering information “on an enterprise of the Russian military-industrial complex.”
Tucker told “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the charges against Gershkovich are “entirely bogus.”
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