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US does not know how WSJ journalist detained in Russia is being treated, official says

The United States Wall Street Journal reporter does not have “a sense” of how Ivan Gershkovich being treated in Russia, Roger Carstens, the president’s special envoy for hostage affairs, said on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday.

Officials have not been able to meet Gershkovich or gain consular access to him, Carstens said. However, this week’s decision to label Gershkovich “Wrongfully detained “American citizens “Carries more tools” that the government can use to enforce its release, Carstens said.

“Now that he has been wrongfully detained, we begin to work on negotiating strategies and working with the Russians to find the release of Ivan, and not only Ivan, but Paul Whelan as well,” Carstens said. Whelan has been in Russian custody for nearly five years.

Gershkovich, 31, was arrested on March 29 in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city. Accused of espionage On behalf of the United States, and the Russian Federal Security Service, he has been accused of trying to obtain classified information about a Russian arms factory, which the Wall Street Journal has denied.


Ivan Gershkovich.

The Wall Street Journal

Gershkovich is the first US correspondent to be detained on espionage charges since the Cold War.

Gershkovich is being held in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison. Carstens said Wednesday that Americans, including Paul Whelan, Brittany Griner And Trevor Reid In the past there were prisoners. Grinner And Reid When Whelan returned home is imprisoned in Russia

On Wednesday, Carstens described the facility as a “tough prison.”

“If there’s one thing that I can say that prisons are famous for, it’s isolation and keeping prisoners in isolation and that can have a psychological effect,” Carstens said.

A Statement published On April 2, Griner said he felt “great concern” for Gershkovich. Was a WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Imprisoned in Russia For about 10 months from February to December 2022.

Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Journal Emma Tucker April 4 Dr That Gershkovich was able to meet with lawyers. Tucker also said he was in “good health” and the newspaper was working with the White House, the State Department and other “relevant US government officials” to secure the journalist’s release.

Carstens said he could not speak publicly about the steps being taken to free Gershkovich, but said the administration has a “good track record” in similar situations.

“Under the Biden administration we brought back 26 Americans in 26 months,” Carstens said. “So we’re going to find a way to bring Evan and Paul Whelan home.”

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Kerry Breen


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