Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained in Russia since March on what he, his employer and the U.S. government say are trumped-up espionage charges, has had his appeal for his release rejected by a court in Moscow Tuesday.
The court rejected Gershkovich’s appeal against the three-month extension of his pre-trial detention following a closed-door hearing, Reuters reported, noting that the press service of the Russian court did not give a explanation of the decision.
Gershkovich will remain in custody until at least November 30.
The 31-year-old American citizen was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg, about 2,000 kilometers east of Moscow, while reporting.
RUSSIAN COURT DECLINES WSJ REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH, FACING ESPOYMENT CHARGES, CAN REMAIN DETAINED UNTIL NOVEMBER
Gershkovich has since been detained at Moscow’s Lefortovo pre-trial detention center, known for its harsh conditions. Last month, a Moscow court extended his detention until the end of November. He and his employer deny the allegations, and the U.S. government has said he was wrongly detained.
Russia’s Federal Security Service said Gershkovich “acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret on the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.” Russian authorities have provided no evidence to support accusations of espionage.
Gershkovich is the first American journalist to face espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, Moscow correspondent for US News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB.
Tuesday’s court appearance comes after U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited Gershkovich on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
The ambassador has visited Gershkovich in prison several times since his arrest, most recently in August.
After his Friday visit, the US embassy said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that Gershkovich “stays strong and follows the news – including his parents’ appearance at the UN this week.” , and reiterated the call to free him and another American imprisoned in Russia for espionage, Paul Whelan.
Tracy’s visit came a day after Gershkovich’s parents and sister showed up at the United Nations headquarters in New York and called on world leaders to urge Russia to release the journalist.
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The Russian Foreign Ministry previously said it would only consider a trade for Gershkovich – similar to the exchange of WNBA star Brittney Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout – only in the case of a verdict at his trial. In Russia, espionage investigations and trials can last more than a year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.