The Wall Street Journal reiterated that Russia’s spying charges against journalist Evan Gershkovich are categorically false.

Evan Gershkovich is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

The espionage charges filed by Russia on Friday against the journalist Evan Gershkovic of the The Wall Street Journal they are “categorically false”, indicated the American newspaper.

“We have known media reports that Evan was charged. As we have said from the beginning, these charges are categorically false and unjustified and we will continue to demand Evan’s immediate release,” the prestigious New York newspaper said in a statement.

He American journalist Evan Gershkovicharrested last week in Russiawas formally accused this Friday of “espionage”a charge that the reporter denies and that may be worth 20 years in prisonRussian press agencies reported.

According ratethe journalist “categorically” denies the accusations against him.

Evan Gershkovich, Russia correspondent for the American newspaper Wall Street Journalwas arrested last week in Yekaterinburg.

The Russian federal security service said that detention allowed him to “thwart illegal activities” of Gershkovich, whom he accuses of “spy for the US government”.

The Wall Street Journal has denied that Gershkovich was spying and has demanded the immediate release of its “trustworthy and dedicated reporter”. Infobae has also called for his release.

The United States has urged Russia to release Gershkovich, calling it the accusations are ridiculous spy russians

Before joining the Wall Street Journal in 2022, Gershkovich, 31, worked for the AFP in Moscow and for The Moscow Timesan English news website.

US newspaper The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, detained on suspicion of espionage, leaves a court building in Moscow, Russia.  March 30, 2023 (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina)
US newspaper The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, detained on suspicion of espionage, leaves a court building in Moscow, Russia. March 30, 2023 (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/)

Likewise, the two top leaders of the United States Senate demanded Russia’s immediate release of Gershkovich on Friday in an unusual bipartisan statement condemning the reporter’s detention and declaring that “Journalism is not a crime”.

The statement of the majority leader in the Senate, the Democrat Chuck Schumerand the leader of the minority in the Senate, the Republican mitch mcconnellcomes as the United States works to quickly end what it calls the illegal detention of Gershkovich, the first journalist to be detained for alleged espionage since the Cold War.

“We strongly condemn the unlawful detention of US citizen and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, and demand the immediate release of this internationally known and respected freelance journalist,” Schumer and McConnell said.

They claimed that Gershkovich was accredited by the Russian Foreign Ministry to work as a journalist in Russia and that “the Russian authorities they have not produced any credible evidence to substantiate their fabricated charges”.

“Make no mistake: journalism is not a crime”, they concluded.

His arrest takes place in a context of repression in Russia against the press and opponentswhich has intensified since the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine, launched more than a year ago.

Such a sweeping government crackdown campaign had not been seen since the Soviet era. Activists say the campaign often involves criminalizing the profession of journalism and the activities of Russian anti-war fighters.

Gershkovich is the first American journalist to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, Moscow correspondent for US News and World Report, was detained by the KGB. Daniloff was released without charge 20 days later in an exchange for an employee of the Soviet delegation to the United Nations, who had been arrested by the FBI, also on espionage charges.

(With information from AFP, EFE, AP and Reuters)

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