The pretrial detention of Evan Gershkovich, an American reporter for The Wall Road Journal who has been held in Russia since March, has been prolonged by three months, in response to a Moscow court docket.
Mr. Gershkovich has been detained in Moscow’s Lefortovo jail on espionage expenses that he, the U.S. authorities and The Wall Road Journal have vehemently denied. The USA has mentioned he has been wrongfully detained.
In secret and brief proceedings that have been closed to the press on Thursday, Moscow’s Lefortovo court docket dominated that Mr. Gershkovich’s pretrial detention, which was beforehand prolonged from Could 29 to Aug. 30, would once more be prolonged till Nov. 30.
The arrest of Mr. Gershkovich marked the primary time for the reason that finish of the Chilly Warfare that an American journalist had been detained on accusations of spying in Russia. He might face a sentence of so long as 20 years in a penal colony. On the time he was detained by the Federal Safety Service, or F.S.B., Mr. Gershkovich was on a reporting journey in Yekaterinburg and had accreditation from Russia’s international ministry.
Earlier this month, Lynne M. Tracy, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, visited Mr. Gershkovich for the third time. The State Division reported afterward that Mr. Gershkovich “continues to seem in good well being and stays robust, regardless of his circumstances.” American officers have mentioned that they’ve been blocked from having common consular entry to Mr. Gershkovich.
In April, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned that Mr. Gershkovich had been wrongfully detained, a designation that basically implies that the U.S. authorities considers him a political hostage. Others who’ve acquired this designation embody the basketball star Brittney Griner, who was launched in December 2022 in trade for Viktor Bout, a weapons supplier, after being held in Russia for 10 months on accusations of drug smuggling and possession; and Paul Whelan, a former Marine and company govt who was detained in Russia in 2018 on espionage expenses and is serving a 16-year sentence.
The Kremlin has acknowledged a number of instances that Russia could possibly be open to a prisoner swap for Mr. Gershkovich.
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