U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy’s Statement on Wrongfully Detained U.S. Citizen Evan Gershkovich’s Appeal
June 22, 2023
Outside Moscow City Court
Today, I attended the appeal hearing of U.S. citizen Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained since March 2023 while he was on a reporting trip in Russia. This was a procedural hearing, appealing the conditions of his continued detention. We were extremely disappointed by the denial of his appeal. Although I could not speak with Evan directly at the courthouse today, we were able to see him in the courtroom.
Failing to comply with its obligations under the Consular Convention in force between our two countries, Russia has denied the U.S. Embassy requests for formal consular access on three occasions since I last visited Evan in April. Nonetheless, today in the courtroom, Evan continued to show remarkable strength and resiliency in these very difficult circumstances. Despite Russian officials’ public assertions about Evan’s activities, let me reiterate the U.S. government’s firm position: the charges against Evan are baseless.
He is an innocent journalist who was carrying out journalistic activities and has been wrongfully detained. Such hostage diplomacy is unacceptable and we call on the Russian Federation to release him, as well as Paul Whelan, another U.S. citizen who has been wrongfully detained. We call for that release to occur immediately.