Home News UN panel further calls for release of Evan Gershkovic

UN panel further calls for release of Evan Gershkovic

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Russia arbitrarily arrested Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich to punish him for his coverage of the war in Ukraine, a United Nations panel said in a statement released Tuesday, further fueling public condemnation of his continued detention.

In its statementThe resolution, passed in March but released on Tuesday, said Mr. Gershkovic Appeared Cameron faces espionage charges at secret court hearings last week, which he denies and must be released immediately.

The group said: “Mr Gershkovic was arrested on the pretext of espionage but was in reality intended to punish him for his reporting on the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.” The group said it had asked Russia to “clarify the legal provisions governing Mr Gershkovic’s detention” but had not yet received a response.

Almar Latour, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, said in a statement that the group’s opinion recognized that “Russia violated international law by imprisoning Evan for his journalistic work.”

work group, Include The panel of legal scholars and lawyers said Russia had provided no “factual or legal basis” to support the espionage charges against Gershkovic and that Gershkovic’s legal team had been deprived of “the ability to coordinate, strategize and advise Gershkovic on his rights under international law.”

The court also noted that Russia failed to provide sufficient reasons to justify its decision to hear Gershkevich’s case behind closed doors and that Russia restricted Gershkevich’s right to consular assistance.

The organization has no power to force Russia to abide by its conclusions, and Russian authorities have not commented on them. explain The department has received an appeal against the decision to extend his detention until December 13 this year.

Gershkovic, his employer and the U.S. government deny the charges against him. Designate Mr. Gershkovich As ‘Wrongly detained’ That effectively forced it to work to secure his safe release. The Wall Street Journal called The charges were “false and baseless” and his trial was a “sham”.

On June 13, Russian prosecutors charged Gershkovich, 32, without providing any evidence to support their charges, with “using elaborate conspiracy methods” to collect classified information on the work of a large Russian factory in the Ural region east of Moscow that produces tanks and other weapons on the orders of the CIA. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

The FSB is Russia’s most powerful security agency. explain Gershkovich was detained while receiving classified information in March 2023. Shortly after his arrest in Yekaterinburg, an industrial city about 850 miles east of Moscow, the Kremlin said Gershkovich was “caught red-handed.”

Gershkovic is one of several Americans detained in Russia in recent years, and his case has raised concerns that the Kremlin is trying to use U.S. citizens as leverage in exchange for Russians imprisoned in the West. Russian authorities have made no secret that Gershkovic’s most likely path forward is a prisoner swap with the United States following a verdict in his case.

In its findings, the UN Working Group noted that the facts of the case against Mr. Gershkovich and the “pattern of political hostage-taking in the Russian Federation” clearly indicated that Russia “detained Mr. Gershkovich on the basis of his nationality and citizenship.”

Other Americans held in Russian custody include Paul Whelana U.S. Marine Corps veteran; Arsu Kurmashevaeditor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Mark FogelAn American teacher at the British and American School in Moscow, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2022 for drug smuggling.

Anatoly Kurmanayev Contributed reporting.

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