Russia denies US detainee a Thanksgiving meal (and doctor)

The Man

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Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine accused of espionage and arrested in Russia, in a Moscow courtroom last month


The top U.S. envoy in Moscow has expressed concerns about the "deteriorating health" of Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen charged in Russia with espionage and detained since his arrest nearly a year ago.

On November 27, the U.S. Embassy also decried Moscow’s "shameful treatment"in denying the former marine the "minor comfort" of a Thanksgiving dinner that charge d’affaires Julie Fisher attempted to deliver to the Lefortovo detention center in Moscow.

The 49-year-old Whelan, who also holds Canadian, Irish, and British citizenship, was arrested in a hotel room in the Russian capital in December 2018 and charged with espionage.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Whelan denied the allegations and his family said he was in Moscow at the time for a wedding.

Whelan told reporters from a cage at a Moscow court hearing on August 23 that he had been abused by prison guards during his incarceration as he awaits trial.

On November 19, Moscow City Court upheld an earlier ruling to prolong Whelan’s pretrial detention until December 29.

"On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am most concerned about #PaulWhelan's deteriorating health and continued isolation from family. It is time that we are allowed to bring in an outside doctor, as suggested by a high-level Russian official. Enough is enough,” Fisher said in a Twitter statement.

Earlier, the embassy said that "Russian authorities denied #PaulWhelan the minor comfort of a Thanksgiving dinner today. As American families around the world gather, Paul marks 11 months in prison and can't even call his parents. This is shameful treatment."

November 28 is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, a day when American families traditionally gather for turkey dinners.

I ask again, why is Trump not sending hostage negotiators to Moscow for this?

Or otherwise getting in Putin's face, demanding he free this guy?

Maria Butina got to go home, to a hero(ine)'s welcome and a cushy new job within the Russian government


While this poor SOB, who many thought would be traded for her, remains languishing behind bars over there.

And the WH doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about him...

Crazy...

To be fair, yes, the British, Canadian, and Irish governments, whose passports he also holds, haven't spoken up much for him either. But, lets be honest, the US generally has a bit more international clout than Ireland... Or even, for all my patriotism, Canada...
 
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Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine accused of espionage and arrested in Russia, in a Moscow courtroom last month





I ask again, why is Trump not sending hostage negotiators to Moscow for this?

Or otherwise getting in Putin's face, demanding he free this guy?

Maria Butina got to go home, to a hero(ine)'s welcome and a cushy new job within the Russian government


While this poor SOB, who many thought would be traded for her, remains languishing behind bars over there.

And the WH doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about him...

Crazy...

To be fair, yes, the British, Canadian, and Irish governments, whose passports he also holds, haven't spoken up much for him either. But, lets be honest, the US generally has a bit more international clout than Ireland... Or even, for all my patriotism, Canada...
Simple Maria Butina was on Trump's side and was against Putin. This guy very likely is a spy and is against Trump and Putin so they let him rot.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Toronto
Whelan’s Russian lawyer earlier this month urged the United States and other countries to push for a prisoner swap with Moscow that could get his client released.

But Julie Fisher, the chargée d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, dismissed any such exchange.

“There is no need to discuss a swap,” Fisher told reporters after visiting Whelan in prison. “There is no evidence, no crime,” said Fisher. “They need to release him. Paul has not been charged with a crime.”