Russia has extended the detention of American journalist Evan Gershkovich for three months

Russian news agencies report that the court has extended the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovits for three months.

Biden detained Americans

FILE – Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 18, 2023. On Thursday, April 27, the Biden administration sanctioned Russia’s Federal Security Service and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intelligence agency for illegally detaining Americans. They noted that Thursday’s action was planned long before the arrest of Gerskovich in Russia, whose imprisonment the US government quickly condemned as unjust. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

The Associated Press

MOSCOW — A Russian court extended the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gerskovics by three months, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

Gershkovich, an American citizen, was detained until August 30. He was arrested in March on espionage charges during a reporting trip to Russia. He, his employer and the US government denied the allegations.

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Gershkovich is the first American correspondent to be detained in Russia on espionage charges since the Cold War, and his arrest has shaken journalists in the country and sparked outrage in the West.

The US government declared Gershkovich “unlawfully detained” and demanded his immediate release. He is being held in Lefortovo prison in Moscow.

Tuesday’s court hearing was not announced in advance, the whole case was shrouded in secrecy. Russian authorities did not specify what evidence, if any, would be required to support the espionage allegations. Various legal proceedings were closed to the media.

US Embassy officials have paid Gershkovic at least one prison visit since his March 29 arrest in Yekaterinburg. However, Russian authorities have denied any other visits.