Lawyers for jailed reporter Evan Gershkovich ask UN to urgently declare he was arbitrarily detained

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lawyers for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich are asking a United Nations body to urgently issue an opinion that he has been arbitrarily detained by Russia on espionage charges which are “patently false.” The request to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Tuesday says “Russia has failed to produce a shred of evidence in support of its accusations” since the 31-year-old journalist was arrested on March 29 on a reporting trip.  It said Russia isn’t imprisoning Gershkovich because he’s a spy but because President Vladimir Putin is using him “as a pawn, holding him hostage in order to gain leverage over – and extract a ransom from – the United States.”