Biden claims administration working daily to secure release of journalist Evan Gershkovich

 March 31, 2024

Expressing disappointment and surprise that the detention in Russia of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has lasted now for a full year, President Joe Biden on Friday claimed that the federal government continues to work daily to secure his freedom, as Fox News reports.

The administration, Biden claimed, is “not giving up,” and he added that he, personally, “will never give up hope....”

Biden marks sad anniversary

The White House issued a statement from Biden marking the unfortunate anniversary, with the president conveying his sense of resolve and determination to bring Gershkovich home.

“Journalism is not a crime, and Evan went to Russia to do his job as a reporter -- risking his safety to shine the light of truth on Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine,” Biden began.

The president continued, “We will continue to denounce and impose costs for Russia's appalling attempts to use Americans as bargaining chips.”

“And we will continue to stand strong against all those who seek to attack the press or target journalists – the pillars of free society,” Biden declared.

Difficult year in captivity

Gershkovich, 32, was taken into custody last year in the town of Yekaterinburg and faces allegations of espionage and claims that he was working to collect secret military information on orders from the U.S. government.

No evidence has been provided to support any of those accusations, and the administration, the Wall Street Journal, and Gershkovich himself have all denied the claims.

A recent hearing in Gershkovich's case unfortunately resulted in the journalist being ordered held until at least June 30, the fifth time his detention has been extended in a similar manner.

Familial perseverance

As The Hill recently reported, Gershkovich's sister has stepped forward to provide a glimpse into how her family has been coping under the strain of Evan's detention in Russia, noting that receiving letters from her brother is akin to “Christmas morning.”

“My letters are getting longer and longer. But it's a chance for me to feel like I'm sitting with him, talking to him,” Danielle Gershkovich explained.

Focusing on her family's determination to ensure that her sibling's name remains visible in the media until his return, she added, “We made a decision early on that we were going to be loud and vocal about this and keep Evan in the news, and we are supported by the Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government in doing so, and we will continue to do so, not let Evan's story be forgotten.”

“But what we can do right now is to continue to put a spotlight on Evan and just not let anyone forget about his story,” Danielle Gershkovich asserted.

Though some might argue that the Biden administration showed far more urgency in securing the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner than it has on behalf of Gershkovich or former Marine Paul Whelan, who has been in Russian custody since 2018, it is the hope of many that the president's claim of continued efforts on the journalist's behalf can be reliably taken at face value.

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