Russian court extends detention of US journalist Gershkovich

World News
2023-11-28 | 08:59
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Russian court extends detention of US journalist Gershkovich
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Russian court extends detention of US journalist Gershkovich

A Moscow court on Tuesday said it had extended until January the detention of US reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in Russia earlier this year on spying charges.

The court said Gershkovich's "period of detention" was extended by two more months until January 30, 2024 in what the Wall Street Journal, his employer, called a "brazen and outrageous attack on a free press."

The 32-year-old correspondent, the Wall Street Journal and the US government have all rejected the spying allegations.

According to a video clip published by the court, Evan Gershkovitch listened to the court’s decision calmly from inside a metal cage designated for the defendants.

No journalist was allowed to enter the session, which was closed. AFP reporters saw a number of reporters waiting outside the courtroom.

The US Embassy in Moscow said its officials were able to attend the hearing.

The extension of Gershkovich's detention was almost certain, as Moscow rarely releases people imprisoned while awaiting trial on serious charges.

Gershkovich was arrested during a reporting trip at the end of March in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, becoming the first Western reporter to be jailed on spying charges in Russia since the Soviet era.

Both the Wall Street Journal and the United States repeated their calls for Gershkovich's immediate release after Tuesday's hearing.

"The accusations against him are categorically false and his continued imprisonment is a brazen and outrageous attack on a free press, which is critical for a free society," the Wall Street Journal said in a statement.

The US Embassy in Moscow said it was "deeply concerned by the court's decision... We reiterate our call for his immediate release."

A video released by the court showed Gershkovich standing in a metal cage for defendants during Tuesday's hearing, wearing a checked shirt and dark hooded jacket.

The American, who previously worked for Agence France-Presse, continued to report from Russia after the Kremlin launched its Ukraine offensive, despite many Western journalists leaving the country.

Russia claims it caught Gershkovich "red-handed," but has not provided any public evidence of the allegations it has made against him.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

AFP
 

World News

Evan Gershkovich

Russia

US

Spy

Detention

Journalist

Court

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