(MENAFN) In a closed-door hearing on Tuesday, a Moscow court decided to prolong the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich until January 30, as reported by Russian news agencies. The journalist is facing espionage charges, and the proceedings were held in secrecy due to the classified nature of the criminal case against him.
Evan Gershkovich, aged 32, was apprehended in March during a reporting assignment in Yekaterinburg, a Russian city located approximately 2,000 kilometers east of Moscow. The Federal Security Service of Russia has accused the American journalist of collecting information deemed a state secret about the activities of a Russian military-industrial complex enterprise, purportedly at the behest of the American side.
Both Gershkovich and the Wall Street Journal vehemently deny the espionage allegations, and the U.S. government has declared his detention as unjust. Notably, Russian authorities have yet to provide specific evidence supporting the charges levied against the reporter.
This case marks a significant development as Gershkovich becomes the first American journalist to face espionage charges in Russia since 1986. During that period, Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. Evan Gershkovich is currently held at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, known for its harsh conditions, while the legal proceedings continue to unfold in a climate of heightened international scrutiny and concern for press freedom.
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