NATIONAL NEWS

Father of imprisoned reporter Evan Gershkovich calls on world leaders to urge Russia to free him

Sep 13, 2023, 6:11 PM

FILE - Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the M...

FILE - Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the Moscow City Court, in Moscow, Russia, April 18, 2023. Gershkovich, who was detained on espionage charges, arrived at a Moscow court Thursday, Aug. 24, for a hearing on a motion by the prosecution to extend his arrest. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The father of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich called on world leaders meeting at the United Nations next week to stand up for freedom of the press and urge Russia to release him.

Mikhail Gershkovich came to U.N. headquarters with his wife and daughter at the invitation of U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Wednesday to spotlight his son’s nearly six months in a Russian prison on charges of espionage, which the Journal’s lawyers call “patently false.”

Their appearance came a day after the paper’s lawyers asked the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to urgently issue an opinion that Evan has been arbitrarily detained by Russia on the false charges. The request says “Russia has failed to produce a shred of evidence in support of its accusations” since the 31-year-old journalist was arrested on March 29 on a reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburg, almost 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of Moscow.

Mikhail Gershkovich said Evan “is strong, but the past several months have been a nightmare for our family.”

His wife, Ella Milman, echoed the difficulties for the family but said they have been able to send letters back and forth to Evan “and it gives me comfort to see how strong he is.”

“We are glad he’s kept his sense of humor – teasing me that the prison food reminds him of my cooking,” she told U.N. correspondents.

Danielle Gershkovich, Evan’s sister, said the family should be planning for his birthday next month. “Instead, we are here to remind the world that Evan is innocent and journalism is not a crime,” she said.

“We ask that world leaders help find a solution to secure Evan’s release,” she said. “If this can happen to my brother, it can happen to any journalist trying to report the news.”

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield urged all U.N. member nations “to join this call for Evan’s release, and the release of all those who have been wrongfully detained.”

She said the United States “will not rest” until Evan, Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction that both he and Washington dispute, and all other wrongfully detained Americans “are home safe and sound.”

“And we urge the international community and the United Nations to stand with us,” the U.S. ambassador said.

National News

Supporters wave to former President Donald Trump as he arrives to the Milwaukee Mitchell Internatio...

Associated Press

America’s toxic political climate faces calls to ‘tone it down’ after assassination attempt on Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Tone it down!” That was the plea from one Republican congressman as he came to grips with the assassination attempt against Donald Trump at a political rally in the Butler Farm area where he grew up. “I am in a state of bewilderment of how and what has happened to the United […]

26 minutes ago

Associated Press

Winston, beloved gorilla at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, dies at 52 after suffering health problems

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — Winston, a western lowland gorilla who was a favorite attraction at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, has died at the age of 52 after suffering multiple health problems, officials said. The park said Winston was euthanized Saturday after veterinarians determined his condition was declining. “After careful consideration stemming from furthering […]

56 minutes ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign.

1 hour ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday,...

Will Weissert and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

In primetime address, Biden says country must not go down road of political violence

President Joe Biden says “we can’t, we must not go down” the road of political violence in America after the attempted Trump assassination.

2 hours ago

Gov. Greg Abbott receives a briefing for Hurricane Beryl from local elected officials Sunday, July ...

Associated Press

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demands answers as customers remain without power after Beryl

DALLAS (AP) — With around 350,000 homes and businesses still without power in the Houston area almost a week after Hurricane Beryl hit Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said he’s demanding an investigation into the response of the utility that serves the area as well as answers about its preparations for upcoming storms. “Power […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Acclaimed video artist Bill Viola dies at 73, created landmark `Tristan und Isolde’ production

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bill Viola, a video artist who combined with director Peter Sellars on a groundbreaking production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” originally seen in Los Angeles, Paris and New York, has died at age 73. Viola died Friday at his home in Long Beach of Alzheimer’s disease, his website announced. What […]

6 hours ago

Father of imprisoned reporter Evan Gershkovich calls on world leaders to urge Russia to free him