A Moscow court has rejected a new appeal against Wall Street Journal journalist Ivan Gershkovich’s pretrial detention.
Gershkovich’s pre-trial detention was recently extended to August 30. At a hearing in a Moscow court, Gershkovich appealed against the extension of pre-trial detention today.
Gershkovich, 31, was arrested in late March in Yekaterinburg, where he was reporting for his newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. Russia suspects spying. The journalist, his family, the newspaper and the US government deny the allegations. They speak of a politically motivated process. Gershkovich, a US citizen, has been held in Moscow’s pre-trial detention center since March.
His parents Michael Gershkovich and Ella Millman, who left the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 1979, were in court to support their son. US ambassador Lynn Tracy denied access to court.
Wall Street Journal Mom said before the trip to Moscow. He said it was important for him to see his son in person and to show them they were behind him. “I want to scream, ‘Give me back my son,'” Millman said. “It’s hard, but I’ll smile. I will smile for him and they will not see my tears,” she said.
Earlier today reported Russian state news agency Interfax reported that Russia was considering a US request to visit Gershkovich. “We’ve got it,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “No decision has been made yet, but we are considering it.”
This is the second time US officials have visited Gershkovich. Ambassador Tracy visited Gershkovich in April. Since then no diplomatic access has been granted by Moscow.
The tipping point
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Western journalists to work in Russia. At last week’s International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, people from countries labeled “unfriendly” by the Kremlin were not welcome this year. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Western journalists’ access to Russian meetings was no longer a matter of course. Peskov said it depends on “their behavior”.
The situation in Russia has deteriorated rapidly over the past year, as military censorship laws have been tightened. Anyone who spreads “false information” about the activities of the Russian military risks three to fifteen years in prison. The use of words like war and invasion is also prohibited.
Gershkovich’s arrest is considered a turning point in the working environment for journalists in Russia.
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