The family of jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich said Wednesday they have appealed to the United Nations to help seek his release from detention in Russia, where the American journalist has been held since March on spying charges.
Gershkovich's parents and sister said they had submitted a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
"This petition explains that Evan's detention is a violation of his human rights and that Russia should release him immediately. We just want him home," Gershkovich's father, Mikhail, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The Working Group is tasked with investigating “cases of deprivation of liberty imposed arbitrarily or inconsistently with the international standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” according to its website.
Gershkovich, a United States citizen and former Moscow Times reporter, was detained in Yekaterinburg in late March and charged with espionage, becoming the first foreign journalist to be arrested in Russia since the end of the Cold War.
Washington, The Wall Street Journal and Gershkovich strongly deny Russia's spying allegations.
In August, a Moscow court granted the Federal Security Service (FSB)’s request to extend Gershkovich's pre-trial detention until Nov. 30.