Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was able to meet with his lawyers, the paper said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the journalist who has been detained in Russia since last week was in good health.
“Evan’s lawyers were able to meet with him in prison today. They said Evan’s health is good, and he is grateful for the outpouring of support from around the world. We stand with Evan and continue to call for his immediate release,” the statement said.
Russian authorities detained Gershkovich last week and accused him of spying, signaling a significant ratcheting of both Moscow’s tensions with the United States and its campaign against foreign news media.
The statement added that Evan “was doing what journalists do – asking questions and providing an eyewitness account in the region to help keep the world well informed.”
“His imprisonment is wholly unjustified and an attack on a free press. We are doing everything in our power to bring Evan home safely and will not rest until he is reunited with his family,” the statement from Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker and Publisher Almar Latour said.
Representatives from the US Embassy in Moscow haven’t been granted consular access to Gershkovich, according to the Journal.
The Journal has vehemently denied the espionage charge against Gershkovich, describing his arrest “a vicious affront to a free press” which “should spur outrage in all free people and governments throughout the world.”
Gershkovich’s arrest marks the first time an American journalist has been detained on accusations by Moscow of spying since the Cold War.
The Biden administration is preparing to officially declare Gershkovich as wrongfully detained in Russia, two US officials told CNN, a move that will trigger new US government resources to work towards his release, CNN reported earlier.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke over the weekend with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and called for Gershkovich’s “immediate release.”