Paul Whelan, American Imprisoned in Russia, Is Seen in a New Video
Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia, appeared in a video launched on Monday by a Kremlin-backed information community, giving his household an opportunity to see him for the primary time in three years.
Mr. Whelan, a former Marine serving a 16-year sentence on what U.S. officers say are bogus espionage fees, has been largely out of sight since he was convicted by a Russian court docket in June 2020, though he has been visited by Western diplomats.
Within the video posted by RT — a state-owned English-language community beforehand generally known as Russia Right now — Mr. Whelan is seen in a number of settings, together with consuming in a cafeteria. He seemed to be in good well being and declined an interviewer’s request to ask him questions.
In an e-mail to supporters, Mr. Whelan’s twin brother, David, mentioned that Monday “was the primary time I’ve seen what he actually seems like since June 2020.”
“So thanks, Russia Right now, as a result of though your reporting is the worst kind of propaganda and you’re the mouthpiece for battle criminals, not less than I may see what Paul seems like in spite of everything of those years,” he wrote.
David Whelan mentioned the video was recorded in Could. He added that his brother beforehand knowledgeable their mother and father that jail officers had punished him for his refusal to take part within the interview, together with by taking a few of his clothes.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White Home press secretary, mentioned at a information briefing on Tuesday that “it was reassuring to see that he stays — and that is to make use of his brother’s phrases — ‘unbowed.’”
“Paul continues to point out super braveness,” Ms. Jean-Pierre mentioned. “That doesn’t change that his circumstance are really unacceptable, and we are going to proceed to be very clear about that. Russia ought to launch him instantly.”
President Biden has mentioned he’s working to safe the discharge of Mr. Whelan. The State Division tried for months to incorporate him within the deal that freed the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner, who was arrested in a Russian airport shortly earlier than the invasion of Ukraine and later pleaded responsible to drug fees.
Ms. Griner was launched in December in alternate for Viktor Bout, a infamous Russian arms seller generally known as the “Service provider of Loss of life.”
Except for diplomatic visits, communication by Mr. Whelan, a company safety govt, has been restricted to cellphone calls and a cellphone interview that he did with CNN in Could.
Mr. Whelan, 53, and Evan Gershkovich — an American reporter from The Wall Road Journal arrested in March, additionally on espionage fees — have been designated by the USA as “wrongfully detained,” which suggests they’re primarily thought-about political hostages.
David Whelan mentioned in an interview in April that he would “be joyful for the U.S. authorities to make no matter concessions they will to carry Paul dwelling.”
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