Biden calls Russian imprisonment of US journalist ‘out of bounds’

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday called Russia’s imprisonment of US journalist Evan Gershkovich on spying charges “out of bounds.”

Biden, departing Washington for a trip to Northern Ireland and Ireland, also told reporters that The Wall Street Journal correspondent’s jailing was “totally illegal.”

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The US president said he had tried unsuccessfully on Monday to contact Gershkovich’s family and would now “try them from the plane.”

On Monday, the State Department formally classified the reporter as “wrongfully detained” -- a status that puts the case in the hands of the special envoy for hostages, Roger Carstens.

Gershkovich, an experienced reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Russia, was detained in Yekaterinburg, some 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) east of Moscow.

Russian news agencies said on Friday he was charged with espionage, an allegation denied by Gershkovich and his employer.

Read more:

Russia says detained US reporter Gershkovich ‘violated’ Russian law

US Senate leaders demand release of WSJ journalist detained by Russia

Russia charges Wall Street Journal reporter Gershkovich with espionage

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