A Moscow court has extended the pre-trial detention of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested on espionage charges, by three months. The press service of the Lefortovo Court confirmed that his detention has been extended until November 30.
Gershkovich’s pretrial detention was initially set to end on August 30 but had previously been extended on May 23. On June 22, he lost an appeal against the extension of his detention in Moscow.
Since his arrest in March, Gershkovich, the WSJ, and the US government have vehemently denied the espionage charges. His detention has drawn attention as it marks the first time an American reporter has been detained in Russia on spying allegations since the Cold War. This incident has strained the already fragile relationship between Moscow and Washington, causing concern among White House officials.
The US State Department has officially declared Gershkovich’s detention in Russia as wrongful. President Joe Biden has also publicly called for Russia to release him, stating that he is serious about initiating a prisoner exchange to secure Gershkovich’s freedom. In a news conference in Helsinki in July, Biden expressed his determination to take necessary actions to release not only Gershkovich but also other Americans who are being unlawfully held in Russia or elsewhere.
Efforts for a prisoner exchange are currently underway, with the US government working on resolving the situation and securing the release of Gershkovich and other detained Americans.