NPC Leaders Lead Civil Society Letter To Blinken Urging RFE/RL Reporter Be Designated As Wrongfully Detained

(MENAFN- PR Newswire) WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourteen press freedom and First Amendment civil society groups, led by the National Press Club and the
NPC Journalism Institute, on Monday wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge him to swiftly declare that RFE/RL journalist Alsu Kurmasheva has been wrongfully detained by the Russian government.

"Alsu has already been held in a detention center in Kazan for more than a month now and charged with failure to self-register as a 'foreign agent,'" reads the letter, whose other signatories include the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the James
W. Foley Legacy Foundation. "Our understanding is
that Russia
has not officially notified the State Department of her detention - however, the U.S. should not delay its own process due to what appears to be a stalling tactic. We are deeply concerned this has resulted in Alsu not receiving any regular consular visits yet."

The civil society group letter further noted its concerns about Moscow's growing pattern of unjustly detaining journalists, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. The coalition urged Blinken to update the department's "outmoded requirements" for designating wrongful detentions in the event that more journalists are detained and held hostage by foreign governments in the future. Such a designation brings with it heightened department resources for securing the American individual's freedom.

A copy of the letter
can be viewed here .

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged, global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. The
NPCJI is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.

Media Contact: Bill
for the National Press Club, 202-725-7534, [email protected]

SOURCE National Press Club Journalism Institute


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