Lee Heidhues 5.21.2023
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been wrongfully, and for no reason, imprisoned in Russia nearly two months.
It’s obvious that Putin is blithely ignoring the worldwide protests by journalism organizations, governments, NGOs and thousands of individuals who are protesting this outrage.
Evan Gershkovich is only one of several Americans who have been unjustly arrested and detained by Putin. Paul Whelan has been incarcerated for five years. Falsely accused of espionage. Brittney Griner was arrested and held captive for 10 months in 2022. Falsely accused of bringing marijuana into Russia.
All these arrests and incarcerations are political blackmail to harass the American government. Criminally using American citizens as a bullying and intimidation tactic.
Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal 5.19.2023
WASHINGTON—The Russian government has rejected for a second time a request from U.S. officials to visit detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in a Moscow prison.
Gershkovich was confined to a prison in Moscow. On April 18 he appeared before a judge, who denied his appeal to lift his pretrial detention.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry linked the move to a complaint that its journalists didn’t get U.S. visas to travel with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the United Nations in New York last month. The ministry had rejected an earlier request for a consular visit over the same complaint. Russian reporters aren’t behind bars in the U.S.
The State Department said it had sought a meeting with Gershkovich on May 25. “We strongly object to Russia’s ongoing failure to comply with its obligations under the Consular Convention to provide us consular access to detained U.S. citizens,” a State Department spokeswoman said. “Regardless of the hurdles, our team is focused on ensuring timely consular access to all U.S. nationals detained abroad.”
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited Gershkovich a month ago in the first access provided to U.S. officials since his detention in March.
Gershkovich, 31 years old, was detained on March 29 by Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, while he was on a reporting trip in the city of Yekaterinburg and held on an allegation of espionage that The Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government vehemently deny.