picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS | Alexander Zemlianichenko
ECPMF demands the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich

ECPMF

24 April 2024

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The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is dismayed by the decision of a Moscow appellate court to once again reject the appeal of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich to end his pretrial detention. The latest appeal rejection, which took place on 23 April 2024, means Gershkovich will remain in detention in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison until at least late June 2024.

 

Gershkovich was arrested on 30 March 2023 while on a reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburg. He has since spent over one year in pretrial detention on charges of espionage – which the journalist, the Wall Street Journal, and the US government have all firmly denied. The US government has further stated that he has been wrongfully detained and the US Ambassador to Russia has described the accusations as “categorically untrue”. The Russian government has not yet offered any evidence in support of its claim. 

 

The detention of Gershkovich – a US national – while carrying out legitimate work as a journalist serves as a stark reminder of the threats faced by journalists reporting in and about Russia. Journalists must be free to carry out their work without threat of persecution. The charges of espionage could carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years. 

 

ECPMF condemns the arbitrary and unjust detention of any journalist and today reiterates its call and that of the Council of Europe’s Safety of Journalists Platform to immediately and unconditionally free Evan Gershkovich.

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