UNITED STATES NEWS

Lawyers for jailed reporter Evan Gershkovich ask UN to urgently declare he was arbitrarily detained

Sep 12, 2023, 6:34 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lawyers for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich asked a United Nations body on Tuesday to urgently issue an opinion that he has been arbitrarily detained by Russia on espionage charges which are “patently false.”

The request to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says “Russia has failed to produce a shred of evidence in support of its accusations” since the 31-year-old journalist was arrested on March 29 on a reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburg, almost 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of Moscow.

“Russia is not imprisoning Gershkovich because it legitimately believes its absurd claim that he is an American spy,” the Journal’s request said. “Instead, Russian President Vladimir Putin is using Gershkovich as a pawn, holding him hostage in order to gain leverage over – and extract a ransom from – the United States, just as he has done with other American citizens whom he has wrongfully detained.”

Jason Conti, executive vice president and general counsel of Dow Jones, which publishes the Journal, told a news conference at the U.N. Correspondents Association the paper hopes for an opinion stating that Russia hasn’t lived up to its obligations under international law and urgently demanding his release.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, comprising five independent experts, is a body of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council. It has a mandate to investigate cases of deprivation of liberty imposed arbitrarily or inconsistently with the international standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously said it would consider a swap for Gershkovich only in the event of a verdict in his trial. Espionage trials in Russia can last for more than a year, and no date has been set.

Gershkovich’s legal team in Russia has appealed a Moscow court’s decision to extend his pretrial detention until the end of November.

Paul Beckett, the Journal’s Washington bureau chief, told reporters that Gershkovich is “doing pretty well under the circumstances,” saying he is young and healthy, has been able to send and receive letters, and is visited by his lawyers and occasionally U.S. diplomats.

Gershkovich is the first American reporter to face espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when the KGB arrested Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report.

Mariana Katzarova, the first U.N. special investigator on human rights in Russia, told the press conference that Gershkovich should be released immediately because he was arrested “for the exercise of his profession as a journalist.”

Last year, she said, 16 people were convicted on charges of espionage and treason in Russia, but in the first seven months of this year 80 people have been charged with treason.

“I think it’s a massive escalation of the use of these charges to really silence independent media, but also any anti-war expression, any independent opinion,” Katzarova said.

She said her first report on the human rights situation in Russia will be presented to the Human Rights Council on Sept. 21.

United States News

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington...

Associated Press

Regulator proposes capping credit card late fees at $8, latest in Biden campaign against ‘junk fees’

NEW YORK (AP) — The Biden administration announced a rule Tuesday to cap all credit card late fees, the latest effort in the White House push to end what it has called “junk fees” and a move that regulators say will save Americans up to $10 billion a year. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street inches lower as retailers post holiday numbers

Wall Street pointed modestly lower Tuesday as more retailers post results from the holiday season and ahead of appearance by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell before Congress later this week. Futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.3% and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%. Momentum has slowed for U.S. stocks after hitting […]

6 hours ago

A San Francisco Police Department officer walks around Union Square, Friday, March 1, 2024, in San ...

Associated Press

San Francisco votes on measures to compel drug treatment and give police surveillance cameras

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Voters in San Francisco will weigh in on a pair of public safety measures on Tuesday’s ballot that reflect frustration over crime and drug use in the politically liberal city, including a proposal to compel treatment for adults using illegal drugs who receive cash welfare benefits. The other ballot measure would […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón speaks during a news conference Feb. 22,...

Associated Press

LA County’s progressive district attorney faces crowded field of 11 challengers in reelection bid

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the country’s most progressive prosecutors, who faced two recall attempts within four years, is set to be tested as he seeks reelection against 11 challengers to remain the district attorney of Los Angeles County. Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary pits incumbent George Gascón against opponents who range from line prosecutors in […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Californians to vote on measure governor says he needs to tackle homelessness crisis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians are set to vote Tuesday on a statewide ballot measure that is touted by the governor as a major step to tackle homelessness and would be the first major update to the state’s mental health system in 20 years. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom says Proposition 1 is needed to tackle […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Alabama lawmakers aim to approve immunity laws for IVF providers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers, who face public pressure to get in vitro fertilization services restarted, are nearing approval of immunity legislation to shield providers from the fall out of a court ruling that equated frozen embryos to children. Committees in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate on Tuesday will debate […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Lawyers for jailed reporter Evan Gershkovich ask UN to urgently declare he was arbitrarily detained