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Evan Gershkovich has spent a year in a Russian prison

Evan Gershkovich in Russian Prison
Thought Leader: Sara Fischer
March 29, 2024
Source: AXIOS
Written by: Sara Fischer

Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s wrongful detainment by Russian authorities.

Why it matters: Gershkovich is the first U.S. journalist to be arrested and held on spying charges in Russia since the Cold War.

Driving the news: Gershkovich appeared in the Moscow City Court Friday morning. His pre-trial detention was extended this week for the fifth time, until at least June 30.

The big picture: In addition to The Kremlin’s punitive fake news law passed soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, Gershkovich’s imprisonment has made it much harder for the Western press to cover the war from Russia on the ground.

State of play: In designating Gershkovich as wrongfully detained, the U.S. government was able to transfer his case to a special division within the State Department that provides more resources for hostage negotiations.

Between the lines: Drumming up media attention has been critical in ensuring Gershkovich’s release remains a priority for the government, WSJ editor Paul Beckett, said last month during a news conference.

What to watch: Press freedom activists are demanding more action from the U.S. government.

What’s next: The Journal has assembled a slew of programs to call attention to Gershkovich’s case this weekend, including a global run across 12 cities, a 24-hour read-a-thon, social media blitz and more.

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