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Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) issued the following statement on Russia’s illegal detention of Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan:

“We strongly condemn Russia’s ongoing and illegal detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich and call for his immediate release. Since arresting Evan five weeks ago, Russia has failed to provide any credible evidence to justify its manufactured charges. Journalism is not a crime and his detention is another deeply concerning attack on freedom of the press across the globe.

“The persecution 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. Today, the Kremlin not only holds Gershkovich hostage, it continues to unjustly imprison Paul Whelan. Russia must release Gershkovich and Whelan now.”