(NationRise.com) – According to a snippet shared by Reuters on Monday morning, dozens of nations around the world have signed a statement where they protest the arrest of American journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia. The Wall Street Journal reporter was detained by Russian authorities on spying charges in the city of Yekaterinburg and is currently jailed in a Moscow prison.
In the statement, over 40 nations urged the Kremlin to immediately release people who are currently being imprisoned on political grounds. The statement also calls on Russian authorities to end the “draconian crackdown” on freedom of speech, including against journalists and reporters from Russia or other countries.
As reported by Reuters, some nations that signed this statement include Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, and different members of the European Union. Russian media outlets already criticized the statement by claiming this is an attack from NATO and its allies.
The 31-year-old American was accused by Russia’s Federal Security Service of conducting an espionage operation where he was trying to steal classified information about a Russian company involved in the invasion of Ukraine. This agency is the successor of the Soviet-era KGB, and it has been accused of committing all types of abuses and irregularities.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken designated Gershkovich as a journalist who had been “wrongfully detained” by Russian authorities. In a statement, the State Department’s principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said that journalism was not a crime and that the Biden administration fully condemned the Kremlin’s repression of Russia’s independent voices.
About his detention, President Joe Biden has said that “it’s totally illegal.” Also, the Biden administration’s special envoy for hostage affairs Roger Carstens said last week that the most important thing to point out was that Gershkovich was not a spy. He added that instead of being someone who worked for any intelligence agency or the American government, Gershkovich is just a journalist who was doing his job for the Journal.
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