Detention of Evan Gershkovich in Russia: RSF and CPJ call on the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to act for the journalist’s release
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) call on the UN to intervene with the Russian authorities to secure the release of the Wall Street Journal journalist.
RSF and CPJ, formally addressed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Irene Khan on 2 May, 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 the Wall Street Journal reporter 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". Evan Gershkovich was formally charged with espionage on April 7.