Friday marks Evan Gershkovich’s 100th day in captivity.

Vladimir Putin is holding him hostage in expectation of a trade for some atrocity-meister now imprisoned in the West — as well as a warning against committing the “crime” of journalism in Russia.

Officially, the Wall Street Journal reporter stands charged with espionage, the first American arrested for that in Russia since the end of the Cold War.

In reality, he was simply covering the home front of Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

Indeed, he was arrested in Yekaterinburg while doing a story on the Wagner Group — Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary outfit, which last month mounted that abortive march on Moscow.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin has him imprisoned for committing the “crime” of journalism in Russia.
AP
Evan Gershkovich
Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg while doing a story on the Wagner Group — Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary outfit, which last month mounted that abortive march on Moscow.
REUTERS

As Owen Meredith of the UK News Media Association rightly puts it in calling for his immediate release: Evan’s “wrongful detention” is “a full-throated assault on the fundamental principles of free speech and democracy. The work of courageous journalists like Evan is critical to ensuring that we understand as fully as possible the war in Ukraine and its horrific impact upon people’s lives.”

And: “We all have a stake in this. Journalism is not a crime, and a free press is pivotal to maintaining a free society.”

Our corporate cousins at the Journal are fighting tirelessly for Gershkovich’s release — and also to carry on his work.

We stand with them on their demand: Free Evan.