United Nations Report Condemns Detention of Evan Gershkovich ’14

By Tom Porter
Evan Gershkovich has been “arbitrarily detained” by Russian authorities, who have failed to provide “any factual or legal substantiation” for accusations of espionage against the jailed Wall Street Journal reporter.
free evan gershkovich illustrated poster

These are the findings of a newly released United Nations report, adding to the international condemnation of Gershkovich’s arrest and imprisonment in Russia, where he has been held for more than fifteen months.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which includes legal scholars from five countries, concludes that Gershkovich’s arrest was “designed to punish his reporting on the armed conflict” between Russia and Ukraine. “Consequently, it lacked a legal basis and is arbitrary,” said the report, which called for Gershkovich’s immediate release.

Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones submitted a request to the working group last September asking for a formal opinion on Gershkovich’s imprisonment, said the newspaper. The UN panel, which was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, reportedly said it sought information from the Russian government concerning Gershkovich’s imprisonment in December but had not received a reply.

Meanwhile, the secret trial of Gershkovich got underway behind closed doors last week, as he faced charges of espionage, charges that The Wall Street Journal and The White House have vigorously refuted.

Those interested in supporting the campaign to free Evan Gershkovich can visit freegershkovich.com.

Gershkovich in the media: read a summary of press coverage since his arrest.