Press Briefing For U.S. Journalist Held By Russia Monday, Nov. 27 at Press Club

PR Newswire
Monday, November 20, 2023 at 10:29pm UTC

Press Briefing For U.S. Journalist Held By Russia Monday, Nov. 27 at Press Club

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- 

  News Advisory:


News Briefing with Advocates for Alsu Kurmasheva, journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty who is currently being held in detention by Russia.


Pavel Butorin, Alsu's husband and Director of Current Time, RFE/RL's digital platform (Russian); Jeffrey Gedmin, acting president, RFE/RL and Paul Beckett of the Wall Street Journal, the point person in the Evan Gershkovich case. Press Club President Eileen O'Reilly will moderate.


4 p.m. Eastern, Monday, Nov. 27


National Press Club, 13th Floor, National Press Building, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045


In May 2023, Alsu, who is a citizen of the United States and Russia, traveled to Kazan, Russia to assist her ailing mother. This was not a work trip but a health emergency. Upon attempting to depart Russia in June she was denied exit and ordered to remain in Kazan. She was detained on Oct. 18 for failing to self-register as a "foreign agent". She is the 2nd U.S. journalist to be detained by Russia since the end of the Cold War. The first was Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal who was taken at the end of March.

The US government has not yet been officially notified by Russia of Alsu's detention and has not yet declared this case a wrongful detention. Alsu has not been able to receive consular visits from the U.S. Embassy. Any notes she sends to her family or receives from them are screened and censored. She very much misses her two children who are with her husband in Prague.

In 2017, Russia designated eight RFE/RL services as "foreign agents" and has since labeled dozens of RFE/RL journalists as individual foreign agents. Alsu is not among them, and, was not working during her trip, but Russia insists she should have declared herself a "foreign agent." This is the first known instance of an individual facing charges for failing to self-identify as a "foreign agent" in Russia.

The family and RFE/RL are asking the U.S. to declare Alsu wrongfully detained and mobilize resources for her release. The family and RFE also call on Russia to release Alsu immediately and without conditions, as she has done nothing wrong.

Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club

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SOURCE National Press Club