UN panel finds Russia arbitrarily detained US reporter Evan Gershkovich

A UN panel found Russia had violated international law by jailing American reporter Evan Gershkovich and called on Moscow to release him "immediately".

A United Nations expert panel has determined that US reporter Evan Gershkovich's detention in Russia on spying charges is arbitrary and a contravention of his human rights, in findings released on Tuesday.

Gershkovich, 32, became the first Western journalist to be arrested on spying charges in Russia since the Cold War when he was detained in March 2023 on a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg.

The Kremlin has provided no public evidence for the spying allegations, saying only that he was caught "red-handed" and was working for the US Central Intelligence Agency. Washington says the claims are fabricated.

His trial opened last week over the espionage charges that he and his newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, deny, while the US government has demanded his release.

The UN's working group on arbitrary detention concluded that "the deprivation of liberty of Evan Gershkovich, being in contravention of articles 2, 7, 10, 11 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... is arbitrary," it said in a March ruling issued on Tuesday.

It noted that it had sought information from Moscow authorities on the grounds for his arrest, but "regrets that it did not receive a response from the government of the Russian Federation".

The Wall Street Journal's publisher, Almar Latour, welcomed the findings, denouncing "a flagrant violation of his fundamental human rights".


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