News organisations and non-governmental press freedom groups, including ARTICLE 19, have written to the Russian embassy in the United States to call for the release of journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained on charges of espionage. The letter to Ambassador Anatoly I. Antonov describes the detention of Gershkovich as a ‘significant escalation’ of Russia’s actions against press freedom.
The letter follows.
Ambassador Anatoly I. Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States 2650 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org March 30, 2023
Dear Ambassador Antonov,
We, the undersigned news organizations and nongovernmental press freedom organizations, write to express our deep concern regarding your government’s detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich and the unfounded espionage charges leveled against him.
Gershkovich, who works for The Wall Street Journal and is a United States citizen, has a long professional record as a journalist. He lived in Moscow for several years, is accredited with the Russian Foreign Ministry, and has been covering Russia as part of the Journal’s Moscow bureau. Gershkovich is a journalist, not a spy, and should be released immediately and without conditions.
As an urgent first step, Gershkovich should be granted immediate access to an attorney provided by his employer. We also demand confirmation of his well-being and that he be allowed communication with his family.
Gershkovich’s unwarranted and unjust arrest is a significant escalation in your government’s anti-press actions. Russia is sending the message that journalism within your borders is criminalised and that foreign correspondents seeking to report from Russia do not enjoy the benefits of the rule of law.
We look forward to your response as we continue to vigilantly follow every step of the proceedings against Evan Gershkovich and call for his immediate release.
Peter Barabas, Editorial Director, Euronews
Sally Buzbee, Executive Editor, The Washington Post
Fernando Belzunce, Editor-in-Chief, Vocento, Spain
Giuseppe De Bellis, Executive Editor, SkyTg24
Phil Chetwynd, Global News Director, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Liz Corbin, Deputy Media Director and Head of News, European Broadcasting Union Chris Evans, Editor, The Telegraph
Edward Felsenthal, Executive Chairman, TIME
Tony Gallagher, Editor, The Times
Javier Garza Ramos. Editor, Enre2 Laguna, México
Liesl Gerntholtz, Director, Freedom To Write Center, PEN America
Jodie Ginsberg, President, Committee to Protect Journalists
Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary, European Federation of Journalists
Irene Halvorsen, Editor in Chief, Nationen, Norway
Joe Kahn, Executive Editor, The New York Times
Roula Khalaf, Editor, Financial Times
Aleksandra Ketlerienė, Deputy editor-in-chief of LRT.lt, Lithuanian national radio and television
Ian MacGregor, Editor Emeritus, The Telegraph, Society of Editors chair
Susan Marjetti, General Manager, CBC News
Frane Maroevic, Executive Director, International Press Institute
Quinn McKew, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19
Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor, The Economist
Rialda Ocuz, Program Coordinator International Affairs, BHRT
Julie Pace, Executive Editor, The Associated Press
Vincent Peyrègne, CEO WAN-IFRA, World Association of News Publishers
Martha C. Ramos Sosa, Editor in Chief, Organización Editorial Mexicana
Marcelo Rech, president of the Brazilian Newspaper Association (ANJ)
David Remnick, Editor, The New Yorker
David Rhodes, Executive Chairman, Sky News Group
Pamella Sittoni, Executive Editor, Nation Media Group, Kenya
Ben Taylor, Editor, The Sunday Times
Emma Tucker, Editor in Chief, The Wall Street Journal
Deborah Turness, BBC News’ CEO of News and Current Affairs
Giselle van Cann, Editor-in-Chief NOS Nieuws, The Netherlands
Katharine Viner, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian News & Media
David Walmsley, Editor-in-Chief, The Globe and Mail
Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg News
Werner Zitzmann, Executive Director, Colombian News Media Association