Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will stay in Russian prison for another THREE MONTHS on bogus spy charges | The Sun
RUSSIA has extended the pretrial detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich who was arrested on bogus spy charges.
The 31-year-old journalist has now spent nearly 150 days behind bars.
The US citizen was arrested by Vladimir Putin's secret police in March while on a reporting trip in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.
He was locked up after being accused of espionage, claims which Evan, the Wall Street Journal and President Biden strongly deny.
A series of appeals to release the reporter from prison were denied, even though his pretrial detention was set to expire on May 29.
Evan was instead given a new release date of August 30 – until Putin's spooks put forward a request to extend his detention further.
Their wish was granted during a close door hearing at a Moscow court on Thursday, as Evan's imprisonment was enhanced.
The WSJ Moscow correspondent now faces another three months behind bars in the notorious Lefortovo prison.
A spokesperson for Moscow's Lefortovsky court said: "The time of detention has been extended by three months… Until November 30, 2023."
According to the country's criminal code, pretrial detention can be extended for up to 12 months.
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Evan was reportedly handcuffed and wearing a chequered shirt and jeans as he was escorted into the court by masked men.
The United States said in July that there was still no clear "pathway" to getting him home, despite high-level talks.
Russian officials have offered no evidence to back up their allegations against him.
A statement from the Wall Street Journal yesterday slammed the decision as "outrageous" and demanded Evan be freed.
It read: "Evan’s wrongful detention is outrageous and we continue to demand his immediate release."
Previously the WSJ called the arrest "a vicious affront to a free press that" should spur outrage in all free people and governments throughout the world".
While adding: "No reporter should ever be detained for simply doing their job."
Supporters of press freedom have also urged others to show their support for Evan by flooding social media with the message #IStandWithEvan.
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