Russia detains U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained Wednesday on espionage charges in the city of Yekaterinburg. (AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff)

On Thursday, Russia’s Federal Security Service said it had detained Wall Street Journal reporter and U.S. citizen Evan Gershkovich in the city of Yekaterinburg. Later that day, a Moscow court ordered Gershkovich to be placed under arrest until May 29 on charges of spying for the U.S. government.

Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said, “By detaining the American journalist Evan Gershkovich, Russia has crossed the Rubicon and sent a clear message to foreign correspondents that they will not be spared from the ongoing purge of the independent media in the country.”

Said called on Russian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release Gershkovich, drop all charges against him, and let the media work freely and without fear of reprisal.”

The Wall Street Journal said that Gershkovich was detained on Wednesday on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg. The Journal said it “vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter.” 

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Journalists Attacked

Martinez Zogo


Martinez Zogo, the managing director of the privately owned Cameroonian radio broadcaster Amplitude FM, was found dead on January 22, 2023.

Five days earlier, unidentified attackers had abducted Zogo from his car in Yaoundé, the capital. The attackers chased Zogo, who had recently reported on alleged public embezzlement involving a prominent businessman, to the gate of the local gendarmerie office near the journalist’s home, where he had sought help.

Authorities have arrested several people in connection with the murder, including the businessman Zogo had reported on and prominent members of Cameroon’s security forces.

In nearly 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

The Committee to Protect Journalists promotes press freedom worldwide.

We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

journalists killed in 2023 (motive confirmed)
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