Reporter Evan Gershkovich appeals Russia’s extension of pretrial detention

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been jailed in Russia on espionage charges since March, has appealed the extension of his pretrial detention, court documents showed Saturday.

Gershkovich’s detention was extended Thursday and is now scheduled to last until November, eight months after he was detained during a work trip to Yekaterinburg, in central Russia.

An attempt to appeal his current detention was denied earlier this summer. He is the first American journalist jailed on espionage charges in the country since the Soviet Union era.

His detention was scheduled to end on Aug. 30, and the Moscow court’s decision to extend this week drew ire from U.S. diplomats and the Journal. U.S. officials have stated that he is wrongfully detained.

The Journal said in a statement that Gershkovich’s detention was “improper” and “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 reads. “Journalism is not a crime.”

President Biden has stated his intent to get Gershkovich out of Russia via a prisoner swap.

“I’m serious about a prisoner exchange,” Biden told reporters in Helsinki during a joint press conference with the Finnish president in July.

“I’m serious about doing all we can to free Americans who are being illegally held in Russia — or anywhere else for that matter — and that process is underway,” he added.

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