American reporter’s diary in Russia rejects espionage charges

American journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia last week, was formally charged with “espionage” on Friday, a charge he and his employer, the wall street journal, forcefully reject. The Russian authorities “charged” this correspondent of the wall street journalwho also worked for AFP in the past, “spying on behalf of his country”, reported the state agency TASS, citing an anonymous source within the security forces.

“He categorically denied all charges and said his activities in Russia were journalistic,” TASS continued. THE wall street journal quickly denounced “totally false” charges. “As we have said from the start, these charges are totally false and unjustified, and we continue to demand the immediate release of Evan,” hammered the American business daily in a press release.

Russian diplomacy turns a deaf ear

According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Evan Gershkovich is more specifically prosecuted on the basis of article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code, a charge punishable by twenty years in prison. This indictment paves the way for a trial, the date of which has not yet been announced. The reporter was arrested last week by Russian security services while reporting in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals. The authorities accused him in particular of gathering information on the Russian defense industry.

As the wall street journal, the American authorities, Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the lead, called on the Kremlin to release the journalist. But Moscow assured the new American ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, on Thursday that it was “useless” to exert pressure in this file. “The media hype around this case (…) in order to put pressure on the Russian authorities and on the court which will have to decide the fate of Evan Gershkovich is useless and senseless”, indicated the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. communicated.

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