WASHINGTON— Following the arrest of American journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia, Helsinki Commission Chairman Representative Joe Wilson (SC-2), Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), Ranking Member Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker (MS) issued the following joint statement:
“Russia has yet again used a fabricated criminal case as an excuse to take an American citizen hostage. The arrest of Evan Gershkovich is an outrageous attack on his person and his profession. It has long been dangerous to be a journalist in Russia, particularly for those dedicated to reporting the truth. Putin has developed an architecture of internal oppression and external aggression that has created nothing but moral decay.
“As with Russia’s hostages Paul Whelan, Marc Fogel, and Vladimir Kara-Murza, we will remember Evan Gershkovich throughout this ordeal and will not be silent until he is released.”
Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent with the Wall Street Journal working out of Moscow, was detained on a work trip in Yekaterinburg on March 29. He has been accused of espionage and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Gershkovich is currently being held in pre-trial detention for an indeterminate amount of time before what will likely be a closed trial. He has reported from Russia since 2017.