Foley Foundation Statement on the Russian Detention of American Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva

Diane Foley, President and Founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, today condemned Russia for detaining another American journalist, calling it “further evidence of Russia’s use of American journalists as political pawns.”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said its reporter, Alsu Kurmasheva, a dual Russian-American citizen, was detained in the southwest Russian city of Kazan on Wednesday (Oct 18) while awaiting the return of her passports and charged with failure to register as a foreign agent. She had been in Russia for a family emergency, RFE/RL said.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia in March on espionage charges and is awaiting trial.

Foley said, “The Foley Foundation calls for the immediate release of Alsu Kurmasheva, who was wrongfully arrested on false charges by Russia.  Like Evan Gershkovich, she is being held not because of wrongdoing but simply because she is an American and a journalist. Both should be released now.”