Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) call on the U.N. to intervene with the Russian authorities to secure the release of the Wall Street Journal journalist.
New York, May 2—RSF and CPJ formally addressed U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Irene Khan on May 2, asking them to do everything possible to secure the journalist’s release.
The letter to Guterres, signed by RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire and CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg, stresses that Gershkovich is being “arbitrarily detained” in Russia, and that “the charges brought against him are retaliation for [his] independent journalistic reporting.”
RSF and CPJ called on Antonio Guterres to take firm action. In particular, the two organizations ask him to “explore all possible avenues to contribute to Gershkovich’s earliest release, initiating negotiations with Russian authorities with appropriate coordination, launching a mediation process under [his] supervision or considering any other possible option [his] mandate allows.” RSF and CPJ insist such an action “is all-the-most needed in the context of Russia’s presidency of the Security Council in April which granted the country a podium for official untruths.”
Evan Gershkovich has been detained since March 30 on espionage charges, punishable by up to 20 years in prison that he and The Wall Street Journal categorically deny. RSF has called Gershkovich a “Russian state hostage“. Gershkovich was formally charged with espionage on April 7.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.
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