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Russian court rejects appeal of US journalist detained on espionage charges

The ambassador said he visited the detained WSJ reporter

The US ambassador said he met with the detained Wall Street Journal reporter


An appeal from an American journalist Ivan Gershkovich A Moscow court on Tuesday rejected his pre-trial detention on espionage charges in Russia. The US government and Gershkovich’s employer, the Wall Street Journal, have vehemently denied the allegations against him.

Gershkovich, the first American journalist to be detained in Russia since the Cold War, was arrested on March 29 while reporting in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of espionage.


U.S. journalist Ivan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, stands in the dock before a hearing to consider an appeal against his arrest at the Moscow City Court in Moscow, April 18, 2023.

Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. government declared Gershkovich “wrongfully detained” about a week ago, meaning a designated office within the U.S. State Department will lead efforts to secure his release.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynn Tracy, who was allowed to meet Gershkovich in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison on Monday, told reporters outside a Moscow court, “I can only say how disturbing it is to see an innocent journalist, Ivan, imprisoned in these circumstances.” Tuesday’s verdict. “We will continue to provide all available assistance to Ivan and his family, and we hope that the Russian authorities will provide Ivan with continued consular access. The charges against Ivan are unfounded, and we call on the Russian Federation to immediately release him.”

President Joe Biden condemned Gershkovich’s detention and spoke to his parents last week.

“We’re making it clear that what’s happening is completely illegal, and we’ve announced it,” Mr. Biden said.

On Monday, US Ambassador to Russia Lynn Tracy said she had met Gershkovich in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison – the first time American officials had been allowed access to him since his detention. He reiterated US calls for his immediate release and said he was “healthy and staying strong.”

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