Evan Gershkovich appeals Russia’s detention extension
Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter jailed in Russia for espionage, appealed a court ruling earlier this week that extended his detention for more than three months, the Journal confirmed on Friday.
Mr Gershkovich, 31, had already spent nearly two months in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, known for its harsh conditions, when a court on Tuesday extended his detention until August 30. While the decision was widely expected, the Journal noted in a statement at the time that it was “deeply disappointed” and would continue to demand his immediate release. The appeal was filed Thursday, the Journal said.
The White House said Mr Gershkovich was “wrongfully detained”, which effectively means the United States considers him a political prisoner. Russia has so far provided no evidence to support the espionage charges, and the United States, The Journal and several press freedom groups have vehemently dismissed them as false.
Mr Gershkovich’s parents, Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich, were admitted to the courthouse on Tuesday and were able to see their son for the first time since his arrest on March 29, during a reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburg, in central Russia. Ms Milman wore a button with the phrase “Free Evan” – a rallying cry from the campaign for his release.