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Russia: Justice keeps American journalist Gershkovitch in detention

Russia: Justice keeps American journalist Gershkovitch in detention

On Thursday, a Russian court rejected the appeal of journalist Ivan Gershkovich, who appealed the extension of his pretrial detention on charges of espionage, charges that the journalist, who was detained in March 2023, deny.

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“The Moscow City Court confirmed the ruling of the Lefortovo District Court in Moscow issued on November 28 (…) Ivan Gershkovich will remain in detention until January 30, 2024,” court services noted on Telegram.

The 32-year-old American journalist appealed against the extension of his detention until the end of January.

A Wall Street Journal journalist, this respected reporter was detained by Russian security services during a report in Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains, on March 29. He has since been detained in Lefortovo prison in Moscow.

Ivan Gershkovitch, who also previously worked for AFP in Moscow, is accused of espionage, a crime punishable by 20 years in prison, but he rejects the charges, as do Washington, his newspaper, his friends and his family.

Russia has never proven its accusations or provided evidence publicly, and the entire proceeding has been classified.

No date has been set for his trial yet.

In recent years, several American citizens have been arrested and sentenced to heavy sentences in Russia, and Washington has accused Moscow of wanting to exchange them for Russians detained in the United States.

Last October, Russian-American journalist Alsou Kurmasheva, who works for the media outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was arrested on charges of failing to register as an “alien agent.” She is now also on trial for spreading “false information” about the Russian military.

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