Aug 24, 2023 - World

Russia extends WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich's detention another 3 months

Evan Gershkovich appears in a Moscow court on June 22. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Moscow court on Thursday extended Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich's detention by three months, multiple outlets reported.

Why it matters: The U.S. has officially declared Gershkovich "wrongfully detained," but the Russian court's decision will keep him behind bars until at least Nov. 30.

  • His pretrial detention was previously slated to expire on Aug. 30.

State of play: In a closed hearing, the court granted the extension request made by an investigator from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian state news agency TASS reported.

  • This is not the first time Gershkovich's pretrial detention has been extended. After being detained in March, Gershkovich's detention was set to expire at the end of May, but was then extended by three months.
  • He is being held at Moscow's Lefortovo Prison, which is known for its harsh conditions.
Evan Gershkovich
Evan Gershkovich is escorted outside the Lefortovsky Court in Moscow on August 24. Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova /AFP via Getty Images

The big picture: Gershkovich's arrest in March marked the first time a U.S. journalist was detained in an espionage case in Russia since the Cold War, per the Committee to Protect Journalists.

  • Russian authorities detained him while he was on a reporting trip in the city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,000 miles east of Moscow.
  • At the time of his arrest, the FSB accused Gershkovich of trying to obtain classified information "on the instructions of the United States" — an allegation the Wall Street Journal "vehemently" denied.

Worth noting: Gershkovich's lawyers have filed two appeals challenging his detention but both have been denied, per the Wall Street Journal.

  • In a statement Thursday, the Journal said it was "deeply disappointed" to see that Gershkovich "continues to be arbitrarily and wrongfully detained for doing his job as a journalist."
  • "The baseless accusations against him are categorically false, and we continue to push for his immediate release," the statement said.

What to watch: In July, President Biden said he intended to pursue a prisoner swap for Gershkovich.

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