American journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in late March 2023 in Yekaterinburg, is still in custody in Moscow. He is accused of spying for the US. According to a spokesman for the US Department of State, in recent weeks Russia received an offer from the United States to release the imprisoned Americans Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, but rejected it. The Wall Street Journal correspondent Matthew Luxmoore also commented on Gershkovich’s case.
Evan Gershkovich, who works for The Wall Street Journal, was detained in Yekaterinburg in the Urals at the end of March 2023, and then in early April he was formally arrested and charged with espionage for the US. Gershkovich filed an appeal, demanding release from pre-trial detention at the Lefortovo Prison, where he was detained while awaiting a trial date. However, in June, a Moscow court rejected the appeal.
Recently, information appeared that the United States has sent Russia a proposal to exchange a journalist of “The Wall Street Journal”. – In recent weeks, we have made a new, serious offer that would lead to the release of Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich. This offer was rejected by Russia. We shouldn’t have to make this offer. Paul and Evan should never have ended up in a Russian prison. They should be released immediately. But despite this, we have made serious proposals to Russia, including the one I have been talking about in recent weeks. We will continue to work to free Paul and Evan. There is no more important issue for President Biden and the Secretary of State right now, said Matthew Miller, spokesman for the United States Department of State.
The case of Evan Gershkovich was also commented on by “The Wall Street Journal” correspondent Matthew Luxmoore in “Fakty o Świecie” TVN24 BiS, who confirmed that the editorial office was in contact with the detained journalist through letters. – From what we know, from the letters he sends, he feels fine. He has an hour a day to go outside, he reads a lot, he writes a lot. I guess he’s just trying to survive this period, Luxmoore informs, but at the same time adds that Gershkovich cannot write everything in the letters because – as the editors suspect – their content is verified by the guards.
The correspondent of “The Wall Street Journal” emphasizes how important it is to remember his case and encourages people to write letters to him. – When a person is in prison, especially in a prison like Lefortovo, which is focused on isolating people from other people, it is very important to receive letters from people, communications from people, to have the impression that people do not they forget about the person, says Luxmoore.
“We know he wasn’t involved in espionage”
Luxmoore recalls that Gershkovich’s parents emigrated from the Soviet Union. – He was always fascinated by Russia. He wrote in a balanced way about Russia and very sharply, but he was very curious about this country. He tried to learn as much as possible about this country, he says.
The correspondent of “The Wall Street Journal” pointed out that his editorial colleague returned to Moscow after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Evan kept his work secret, traveled around the country and tried to report from Russia as one of the few journalists left there at that point,” he says. As Luxmoore emphasizes, Gershkovich was aware of the risks involved. – In our conversations, he said that they were following him, that he was going somewhere as part of a reportage and that a car was following him. He was aware that all Western correspondents in Russia were monitored, he says.
If convicted, the journalist faces up to 20 years in prison. – The Russian side has not shown any evidence that he was engaged in espionage. We know that he was not involved in espionage, Luxmoore emphasizes.
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