U.S. detainee Whelan calls household after week of silence in Russia -statement By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan stands inside a defendants’ cage throughout his verdict listening to in Moscow, Russia June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov//File Photograph

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American detainee Paul Whelan phoned his household from Russia early on Friday in his first contact since final week, a interval of silence that prompted the White Home to precise concern.

Whelan, a former U.S. Marine detained in Russia since 2018, had been transferred to the hospital jail, his brother, David Whelan, stated in a press release.

“So the decision not less than acts as a ‘proof of life’, even when nothing else has been defined: when Paul went there, why, why the calls stopped, why the U.S. Embassy needed to search details about his whereabouts and the Russian authorities refused to reply, and so on,” his brother stated.

White Home nationwide safety spokesman John Kirby (NYSE:) stated later that Whelan was doing nicely.

“I will not get into … any specifics of his well being for privateness causes, however I can let you know that he conveyed to consular officers that he was feeling nicely,” Kirby stated at a information briefing.

A senior State Division official stated Whelan was transferred to the jail hospital final Thursday, on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day vacation. He spoke with U.S. consular officers and was returned to the penal colony on Friday, the official stated.

Kirby had stated on Wednesday the White Home was “deeply involved” about why that they had not been in a position to get info on Whelan’s whereabouts or situation from Moscow.

Whelan was convicted in 2020 on espionage fees he denies.

One other American, basketball participant Brittney Griner, was moved to a penal colony in November to serve a nine-year sentence for possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil. She stated at her trial she used them to alleviate the ache from sports activities accidents and had not meant to interrupt the regulation.

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