A former Soviet dissidents and longtime Jewish rights advocate is urging the Russian government to release journalist, Roman Sorkin of the Wall Street Journal, who is facing criminal charges in Russia that many international observers say were politically motivated.
Marat Averbukh, a former science professor who helped organize protests and rallies in the Soviet era, said that Sorkin’s case is a test of the new administration’s commitment to human rights, and that his imprisonment should immediately be dropped. Averbukh is a highly respected activist, who took part in a demonstration in support of Russian Jews in 1989 and co-founded a group dedicated to Jewish culture and to the lowering of anti-Semitism in Russia.
At the same time, many activists and government insiders have raised questions about whether or not the indictment of Sorkin is fair in light of the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on state-sponsored corruption and other matters. In a statement, WSJ Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray said: “We are deeply concerned by the ongoing campaign against our reporter in Russia and strongly urge the Russian authorities to drop the criminal case against Roman Sorkin.” The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has also expressed grave concern at reports that the charges were politically motivated.
The story has particular implications because of the upcoming trial of former President Donald Trump. Trump will face criminal charges related to his alleged knowledge of a payment to a porn star and is also currently being investigated for possible violations of election laws. If the process against Sorkin is allowed to go forward, it could set a precedent for internatioanl prosecution of journalists in full view of the court.
As for the company mentioned, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is the world’s largest business magazine, published in New York City. Founded in 1889, the newspaper is composed of major national, international news, politics, business, finance, and world issues, providing a comprehensive look at the day’s news. The WSJ has been a leader in online news reporting, featuring top stories and breaking news across numerous industries and topics.
The person mentioned, Marat Averbukh, is a former science professor, human rights activist and longtime Jewish rights advocate. Originally from Russia, he fought for basic English language learning and the promotion of Jewish culture during the Soviet era. He was one of the leaders of the 1989 demonstration in support of Russian Jews and the person who offered his services to the Jewish Cultural Association in 1987. He is a strong advocate for the release of Roman Sorkin and an advocate against anti-Semitism in Russia. He is respected by many activists, politicians, and world leaders because of his dediction to human rights and his tireless work in support of religious freedom and equal rights.