Jailed American Journalist’s Arrest Extended by Moscow Court

A Moscow court on Thursday extended by three months the pre-trial detention of jailed U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich. He will now stay behind bars on espionage charges until at least the end of November, Russian state news agency Tass reported.

The Wall Street Journal reporter was detained at the end of March while on assignment in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

Moscow has accused him of spying, which he, his employer and the U.S. government vehemently deny. The State Department has classified him as wrongfully detained.

Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be detained in Russia on espionage charges since the Cold War.

Gershkovich, 31, arrived at the Moscow court Thursday in a white prison van and was led out handcuffed. He appeared in court to hear the result of the prosecution’s motion to extend his arrest from August 30.

This is the second time his pre-trial detention has been extended, both times by three months.

Reporters were not allowed to witness Thursday’s proceedings in the court. Tass said it took place behind closed doors due to the classified nature of some details in the case.

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal said in a statement, “Today, our colleague and distinguished journalist Evan Gershkovich appeared for a pre-trial hearing where his improper detention was extended yet again. We are deeply disappointed he continues to be arbitrarily and wrongfully detained for doing his job as a journalist. The baseless accusations against him are categorically false, and we continue to push for his immediate release. Journalism is not a crime.”