The Wall Street Journal: U.S. declares WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich ‘wrongfully detained’ by Russia

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Stock Market

The State Department on Monday designated as “wrongfully detained” Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested by Russian security services last month and held on an accusation of espionage that the Journal and the U.S. government vehemently deny. Gershkovich’s case now shifts to a State Department section — known as the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs — which is focused on negotiating for the release of hostages and other Americans classified as wrongfully detained in foreign countries.

Officials said the speed at which the designation was reached was unprecedented, as it involves a lengthy bureaucratic process that typically takes months. The designation seldom comes before the detainee is able to meet with American consular officials from the local embassy, a right Gershkovich has so far been denied. Lawyers representing Gershkovich on behalf of the Journal recently reported that Gershkovich was in good health and grateful for the outpouring of support from around the world, Emma Tucker, editor in chief of the Journal, said. Even before the determination was made, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had “no doubt” Gershkovich had been wrongfully detained by Russia, adding that he stressed that fact in a recent call with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on April 2. The Journal has vehemently denied wrongdoing on the part of Gershkovich and has called for his immediate release. The White House has labeled the accusation “ridiculous,” denied Gershkovich was a spy, and said he had never worked for the U.S. government. Blinken last week said Gershkovich’s detention was “unacceptable” and demanded both his release and the release of another American, Paul Whelan, who has been held in Russia on espionage c …

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