On March 29, 2023, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was reportedly taken into custody in Yekaterinburg, Russia, by the Federal Security Service and charged with espionage. His case is the first time an American journalist has been arrested on espionage charges in Russia since the Cold War.
Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, made the following statement:
“As Attorney General Merrick B. Garland recently affirmed in strengthening protections for newsgathering in the United States, ‘a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy.’ And it is not just vital for ‘our’ democracy; a free press is essential to the information needs of the international community. We join the calls for the Russian Federation to immediately release Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. Journalism is not espionage and the use of innocent journalists as geopolitical pawns is incompatible with a free society.”