GOP and Democratic House Leaders Demand Russia’s Release of Evan Gershkovich, Paul Whelan


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority House Speaker Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) issued a rare joint statement on Thursday condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin and the demanded the release of two American prisoners.

“We strongly condemn Russia’s continued and unlawful detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich and call for his immediate release,” said the House of Representatives said in a statement. “Since Evan’s arrest five weeks ago, Russia has not produced any credible evidence to justify its fabricated allegations.”

“Journalism is not a crime and its incarceration is another deeply worrying assault on press freedom around the world,” lawmakers added.

“The prosecution of Gershkovich is part of a disturbing practice by Putin’s Russia of kidnapping American citizens and using Soviet-style show trials to unjustly imprison them,” the two lawmakers said in the statement. “Today, the Kremlin not only holds Gershkovich hostage, it continues to unjustly imprison Paul Whelan.”

The statement added, “Russia must release Gershkovich and Whelan now.”

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