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Brittney Griner speaks out after journalist’s arrest in Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner and his wife are concerned about the detention in Russia of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and said “we must do everything we can to bring him and everyone Americans back.” The home.

“Every American that is taken is ours to fight for and every American that is returned is a victory for all of us,” Griner, who has been held in Russia for most of the past year, said in a statement published Saturday evening. Instagram. by Cherelle Griner.

Russian security officials arrested Gershkovich, 31, on Thursday and charged him with espionage. The newspaper denied the allegation and called for his release.

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President Joe Biden on Friday called on Russia to release Gershkovich, the first American correspondent detained on espionage charges since the Cold War.

Brittney Griner was detained in Russia for 10 months after she was arrested at an airport near Moscow on drug possession charges. She returned to the United States in a December prisoner swap involving Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The Griners said in their statement that they are grateful for the efforts of Biden and his administration to rescue those held abroad, noting the recent release of Jeff Woodke more than six years after his abduction in Niger and resident Paul Rusesabagina legally in the United States after his prison sentence. for more than two years in Rwanda.

Griners asked their supporters to encourage the administration to do everything possible to bring wrongfully detained Americans home.

While Russia’s Federal Security Service accuses Gershkovich of trying to obtain classified information, more than 30 news organizations and press freedom advocates have written to the Russian ambassador to the United States to express concern that Russia sends the message that reporting within the country is criminalised.

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