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Russian court orders detained US reporter to stay in jail

Russian court orders detained US reporter to stay in jail
Posted at 6:33 AM, Apr 18, 2023

A Russian court upheld U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich's detention on Tuesday, ordering him to stay in jail after he appeared in a Moscow court for an appeal hearing, the Wall Street Journal said.

The WSJ journalist was arrested in Russia on March 29, and has remained in prison there since. 

While in court, Gershkovich could be seen standing inside a glass box, pacing occasionally. He was accompanied by Lynne Tracy, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, who was in the courtroom.

Gershkovich's lawyers, Tatyana Nozhkina and Maria Korchagina of the ZKS law firm, challenged his detention for allegations of spying, which he, the Journal and the U.S. government have strongly denied, WSJ said.

While Gershkovich's detention was upheld, a few scenarios could have come from his appeal. Rather than being forced to stay in the isolating Lefortovo prison, where he will remain, he could've been ordered to continue his detention in a new prison, allowed on house arrest or granted bail.

The 31-year-old's pretrial detention period ends on May 29, though that could be extended.

Tracy was the first to visit Gershkovich since his arrest last month.

"He is in good health and remains strong. We reiterate our call for his immediate release," Tracy said, according to the Journal.

The U.S. declared Gershkovich wrongfully detained last week, accelerating efforts to free him.

WSJ and the U.S. government have been demanding his release. WSJ, the journalism community and others have also come together on social media to call for the reporter's freedom.