May 18, 2024

WSJ reporter arrested in Russia, PEC demands immediate release

Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, expresses concern over the arrest of Evan Geshkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, by the Russian security agency and demands his immediate release as he was only doing his assigned job with the accreditation from the Russian foreign ministry.
The American reporter was detained by the Federal Security Service from Yekaterinburg locality (around 1,800 kilometres east of Moscow). while he was trying to obtain classified information. The FSB alleged that Gershkovich (31) was acting on behalf of the US government to collect information about an enterprise in the Russian military industrial complex.
“The 30 March 2023 announcement marks a serious escalation in Kremlin’s efforts to silence independent media, a crackdown that gained momentum following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last year,” said PEC president Blaise Lempen, adding that Geshkovich is the first American reporter put behind bars on spying accusations since the Cold War.
The FSB has not revealed when the arrest of Gershkovich, who earlier worked for AFP and Moscow Times, took place. Gershkovich, who covers Russia, Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations as a correspondent of WSJ’s Moscow bureau, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of espionage. The WSJ authority vehemently denies the allegations and stood in solidarity with Gershkovich and his family.

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