by Edward Steen, Secretary-General, Vienna, April 18, 2023
The Wall Street Journal reports that Lynne Tracy, the newly-appointed U.S. ambassador to Russia, visited the WSJ’s jailed reporter Evan Gershkovich yesterday (17/04) in the first access provided since his arrest last month. “He is in good health and remains strong,” the ambassador tweeted. “We reiterate our call for his immediate release.” Russian officials initially refused consular access for nearly three weeks, during which time he was charged with spying.
UPDATE April 20/2023: AP report on Gershkovich and ominous formal charge of espionage
Yesterday European Parliament President Roberta Metsola (video) demanded Evan’s immediate release. Russia had crossed a red lione, she said. At the UN in New York, more than 40 countries signed a statement denouncing Russian intimidation of the media, calling on Moscow “to end the draconian crackdown on freedom of expression, including against members of the media.” US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the WSJ “Let this statement send a clear message: Journalism is not a crime.”
- WSJ 15/04/23 Gershkovic parents speak out for first time (video)
- WSJ, 13/04/23 Gershkovich named as one of Time‘s 100 most influential people for 2023
- Guardian, London 07/04/23 Evan Gershkovich formally charged with espionage
- Medusa‘s “The Real Russia” 14/04/23 Solidarity with Evan
Independent Russian journalists publish letter demanding Evan Gershkovich’s immediate release
“More than 200 independent Russian journalists signed a letter demanding the immediate release of Wall Street Journal reporter and U.S. citizen Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested on March 30 on orders from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
“We consider the case against Gershkovich preposterous and unjust. Evan Gershkovich’s reputation as a reporter is stellar, and his work has always met the highest journalistic standards. The FSB’s reputation, on the contrary, has been destroyed over the years by its own agents. There is no reason for society to trust these ‘professionals.’
“We support our foreign colleagues who take upon themselves the great risks of working in Russia. We demand that our colleague Evan Gershkovich be set free immediately.
“You can read the letter in full, along with instructions for adding your signature (if you’re an independent journalist), on Meduza’s website.
“Additionally, Meduza is still collecting letters for Evan Gershkovich. Show your support and remind him that he’s not alone by writing him a note, and we will do everything we can to deliver your words to our jailed colleague.”
It goes without saying that the AEJ International supports immediate freedom for our colleague
- Council of Europe’s Safety of Journalists Platform: Calls for Russia to free Evan immediately
- Moscow Times 05/04/23 The Evan Gershkovich I know
- Wall Street Journal 31/03/23 Arrest of reporter who made Moscow his second home