Evan Gershkovich Has Detention Extended After Secret Hearing

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
Font Size:

A Moscow court Tuesday extended the detention of Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Evan Gershkovich, the New York Post (NYP) reported.

Gershkovich will continue to be held at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison until Jan. 30, Russian news outlets reported, according to the NYP. Russian authorities charged Gershkovich with espionage in April.

The hearing occurred behind closed doors because authorities reportedly said the criminal case against Gershkovich is classified, authorities said. The jailed journalist and the WSJ denied allegations of spying on Russia during his reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburg, the outlet reported. The U.S. government declared Russia had wrongfully detained Gershkovich.

Russia reportedly accused Gershkovich of “acting on the instructions of the American side,” according to Russia’s Federal Security Service. The journalist allegedly “collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex,” according to the NYP.

Both Republicans and Democrats have rallied against Gershkovich’s imprisonment, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who called for the WSJ reporter’s release through a joint statement in April. (RELATED: Russia Imprisons WSJ Reporter On Spying Allegations)

The Russian government has detained American citizens who visited the country and has accused them of espionage and other charges. Former Marine and private security contractor Paul Whelan was charged with espionage and is currently still in Russian custody. Female basketball star Brittney Griner was freed from Russian detention last December in a high-level prisoner swap in exchange for “merchant of death” arms dealer Viktor Bout.