Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement today regarding Evan Gershkovich:
We strongly condemn the wrongful detention of U.S. citizen and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, and demand the immediate release of this internationally known and respected independent journalist.
Mr. Gershkovich was accredited by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work as a journalist in Russia. Since his arrest, Russian authorities have failed to present any credible evidence to justify their fabricated charges.
Moreover, against standard diplomatic practice and likely in violation of international law the U.S. Embassy has been denied consular access to Mr. Gershkovich.
Russia has a long and disturbing history of unjustly detaining U.S. citizens in a judicial system that provides neither transparency nor justice. Indeed, even now, the Kremlin continues to wrongfully detain U.S. citizen Paul Whelan. The Kremlin should release Mr. Whelan and Mr. Gershkovich now.
Let there be no mistake: journalism is not a crime. We demand the baseless, fabricated charges against Mr. Gershkovich be dropped and he be immediately released and reiterate our condemnation of the Russian government’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish independent journalists and civil society voices.