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Tags: whelan | russia | marine | prison

US Detainee Whelan Calls Family After Week of Silence in Russia

US Detainee Whelan Calls Family After Week of Silence in Russia
Paul Whelan, a former US marine accused of espionage and arrested in Russia in December 2018, stands inside a defendants' cage as he waits to hear his verdict in Moscow on June 15, 2020. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty)

Friday, 02 December 2022 11:49 AM EST

American detainee Paul Whelan phoned his parents from Russia early on Friday, his brother said, the first contact since a period of silence last week that spurred the White House to express concern.

Whelan, a former U.S. Marine detained in Russia since 2018 and convicted on espionage charges in 2020, had been transferred to the hospital prison, his brother, David Whelan, said in a statement.

"So the call at least acts as a 'proof of life,' even if nothing else has been explained: when Paul went there, why, why the calls stopped, why the U.S. Embassy had to seek information about his whereabouts and the Russian authorities refused to respond, etc," his brother said.

A senior State Department official confirmed that Whelan was transferred to the prison hospital last Thursday, on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday. The official said he spoke with U.S. consular officials and was returned to the penal colony on Friday.

On Wednesday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the United States was "deeply concerned" about why they had not been able to get information on Whelan's whereabouts or condition from Moscow.

Kirby addressed the issue after Whelan's family said this week that they had not heard from Paul since Nov. 23, but had seen reports he had been moved to the prison hospital.

© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
American detainee Paul Whelan phoned his parents from Russia early on Friday, his brother said, the first contact since a period of silence last week that spurred the White House to express concern.
whelan, russia, marine, prison
219
2022-49-02
Friday, 02 December 2022 11:49 AM
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