Russia faces growing calls to release Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been jailed for over a month on espionage charges that the United States considers bogus.
President Biden used his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday in Washington to denounce Mr. Gershkovich’s detention, which the United States has declared wrongful, and to stress the importance of press freedom.
Mr. Gershkovich’s case is also expected to be a focus this week, when the United Nations celebrates World Press Freedom Day, beginning with a program at the U.N. General Assembly Hall on Tuesday that will include addresses from A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, and Almar Latour, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
The two men and their top editors joined their counterparts at a third major American newspaper to jointly voice support for Mr. Gershkovich in a full-page ad in their print editions last week. The ad, published in The Journal, The Times and The Washington Post on Thursday, said Mr. Gershkovich’s arrest is “the latest in a disturbing trend where journalists are harassed, arrested or worse for reporting the news.”
“Reporting is not a crime,” the ad said.
Additionally, the National Press Club will host a letter-writing campaign for Mr. Gershkovich on Wednesday.
Here are other news developments we are watching this week:
A focus on China: President Biden is scheduled to meet with the president of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos Jr., at the White House on Monday. The visit comes at a time when the two allies are strengthening ties as concern over a rising China builds. Xi Jinping, China’s leader and a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, spoke to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on the phone for an hour last week.
Black Sea grain deal: The future of the grain deal that has allowed Ukraine to export millions of tons of grain from its Black Sea ports, despite Russia’s control of the waterways, remains uncertain. Russia has threatened to not extend the agreement after it expires on May 18. The Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergey Vershinin, said on Saturday that Moscow had not seen any progress toward meeting its demands, according to Tass, a Russian state news agency.
Leaked documents case: A magistrate judge in Worcester, Mass., did not rule last week on whether to release Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman, to his parents before his trial. Airman Teixeira is accused of releasing classified documents, many related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The judge, David H. Hennessy, said he needed more time to consider a motion to detain Airman Teixeira indefinitely pending his trial and a request by the airman’s court-appointed lawyers that he be released to his parents’ custody on $20,000 bond. Judge Hennessy did not say when he might issue a ruling.
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