NATO Condemns Detention US Journalist While Lawyers Appeal (Worthy News Radio)

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Tag Cloud


By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Lawyers for a U.S. journalist arrested in Russia on espionage charges have appealed against the decision to hold him in pre-trial detention. The detention of Evan Gershkovich has raised Western concerns, including from the NATO military alliance.

Moscow’s Lefortovsky Court confirmed that it received an appeal against the detention of Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent of The Wall Street Journal newspaper.

The court had ruled that he would have to spend Easter behind bars and should be detained until at least May 29.

Gershkovich was detained in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg on March 29 and flown to Moscow, the capital, on espionage charges.

The Wall Street Journal has vehemently denied the suggestion that Gershkovich could have been involved in espionage. Friends and colleagues have described the charges as absurd.

Yet the journalist now faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, in a case condemned by the West as tantamount to hostage-taking.

The chief of the NATO military alliance, which welcomed Finland as its 31st member on Tuesday, was among those condemning the journalist’s detention.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he supports the United States in its call for his immediate release. “His arrest is of great concern. It is important to respect freedom of the press, the rights of journalists, and the right to ask questions and to do their job,” Stoltenberg said.

He added that he expected the issue of The Wall Street Journal reporter’s detention to be taken up by NATO foreign ministers at their meeting on Tuesday.

The American journalist’s troubles underscored broader concerns about the perceived lack of press freedom and related dangers journalists face in Russia.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a U.S.-based advocacy group, says as many as 82 journalists and media workers have been killed in Russia since 1992.

Among them were Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist, and human rights activist, who was murdered after reporting on political events and the war in Russia’s region of Chechnya.

While a handful of men were jailed for the murder, it remains unclear who ordered or paid for the contract killing in an elevator of her Moscow apartment block on October 7, 2006.

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