Schumer, McConnell: Free US Reporter

Russia reports it's formally charged Evan Gershkovich
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2023 4:30 PM CDT
Schumer, McConnell: Free US Reporter
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend an event on Capitol Hill in June.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Senate leaders of both parties appealed Friday for the release of a Wall Street Journal reporter whom Russia said it has charged with spying. Evan Gershkovich pleaded not guilty Friday, saying he was operating only as a journalist, the state news agency TASS reported. The Federal Security Service was quoted as saying it had "charged Gershkovich with espionage in the interests of his country," per the Wall Street Journal. The reporter "categorically denied all accusations," the news agency reported, per Reuters. Russia has accused the American of gathering state secrets about the military-industrial complex.

In Washington, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying they "strongly condemn the wrongful detention." They demanded the "immediate release of this internationally known and respected independent journalist." Calling the charges fabricated, Schumer and McConnell said Russia has yet to produce evidence of his guilt. "Russia has a long and disturbing history of unjustly detaining US citizens in a judicial system that provides neither transparency nor justice," the senators said. (More Evan Gershkovich stories.)

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