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Four US media outlets call on Russia to release detained WSJ reporter

The Russian government has been called upon by publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Politico

WASHINGTON, March 31. /TASS/. The New York Times, The Washington Post as well as Bloomberg and Politico have urged Russia’s authorities to release US journalist Evan Gershkovich who was detained on suspicion of espionage.

"We call for the immediate release of Evan," a written statement published by these four media outlets on Friday said. They assert that they are "deeply troubled" by the detention of Gershkovich who is a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. That said, the authors of the statement describe him as "a respected Wall Street Journal reporter" and insist that his coverage of Russia "has been fair and accurate at a time when the world needs reliable information." "Evan’s detention is intended to have a chilling effect on independent journalism and deprive the public of essential news," the statement claims.

According to the Public Relations Center of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Evan Gershkovich, "acting at the behest of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of an enterprise within Russia’s military-industrial complex." The reporter was detained in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. FSB investigators opened a criminal case against the US citizen under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Espionage"). Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the journalist had been "caught red-handed." On March 30, Moscow’s Lefortovo district court ordered to arrest Gershkovich until May 29.