Paul Whelan: I’m being held in a barrack at a temperature of 5 degrees

Marine who spent years in a Russian prison expected to face sentencing | GMA

In addition, the colony administration still does not let Whelan sleep and wakes him up every two hours at night.

Convicted in Russia on charges of espionage, US citizen Paul Whelan, in a telephone conversation with his family, complained about the conditions of detention in the Mordovian correctional colony No. 17, where he is serving his sentence.

Whelan said the temperature in the barrack where he was held was no more than five degrees Celsius, and the workshop where inmates sew clothes was even colder. In addition, the colony administration still keeps Whelan awake and wakes him up every two hours at night. I gave all this information to the agency "Interfax" brother of the convict David Whelan.

A month ago, Paul Whelan already complained of regular sleep disturbances. The American Embassy sent a note of protest to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, but received no response..

In turn, the head of the Public Monitoring Commission of Mordovia, Valery Krutov, explained that Whelan, due to the article of the accusation, is considered prone to escape, therefore "at night, colony staff are obliged to approach him every two hours, throw off the blanket and check his presence". At the same time, Krutov said that the leadership of the colony still promised to provide the convict with a full eight-hour sleep. Paul Whelan claims it hasn’t been done yet..

Former US Marine Paul Whelan was detained at a hotel in Moscow in December 2018. According to the investigation, the flash drive seized from him contained information constituting a state secret. Whelan denies guilt, stating that he came to Russia on a private visit, and calls the criminal prosecution a provocation and "absurd political kidnapping".

In June of this year, the Moscow City Court sentenced Whelan to 16 years in a maximum security penal colony, finding him guilty of espionage against Russia. The defendant’s defense claims that no evidence proving the American’s guilt was presented in court..

Paul Whelan: I'm being held in a barrack at a temperature of 5 degrees

Whelan did not appeal the verdict, hoping for an exchange. The media reported that Moscow and Washington were discussing the possibility of exchanging it for Russian citizens of Russia, Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout, convicted in the United States. At the same time, official representatives of the United States and Russia did not comment on this information..

In addition to his American citizenship, Paul Whelan has citizenships of Great Britain, Canada and Ireland..


Paul Whelan: I'm being held in a barrack at a temperature of 5 degrees