US says ex-Marine from Texas has disappeared within Russian prison system

0
80
US says ex-Marine from Texas has disappeared within Russian prison system

The US Embassy in Moscow says it does not know the whereabouts of a former US Marine from Texas who was sentenced to nine years behind bars for attacking two cops in the Russian capital.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN that they’re “concerned that after three weeks,” the embassy has not been informed where the 28-year-old University of Texas student is.

“We continue to press the Russian authorities for consular access to him,” the spokesperson told the network.

Trevor Reed, who was in Moscow to study Russian and be with his girlfriend, has insisted that he got so trashed last August that he has “no memory of anything,” according to a website that campaigned for his freedom.

He was convicted in July 2020 of grabbing the arm of a cop driving a squad car in August 2019, causing it to swerve into other lanes, as well as elbowing another cop in the back with him.

Placards of former US Marines Paul Whelan (L) and and Trevor Reed
Former US Marines Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed are both serving sentences in Russia, and have advocates behind them in Washington.
AFP via Getty Images

The Texan was handed the hefty prison sentence after being found guilty of endangering the lives of the officers.

Russian authorities have said Reed attacked the officers as they were driving him to a police station to sober up after a party. His supporters say the officers changed their testimony throughout the trial.

They also suggest that Reed was drugged during the party, which he attended with his girlfriend, Alina Tsibulnik.

Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed
Reed was moved to Camp IK-18 in Mordovia in July, according to his attorneys.
REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin described Reed in an interview with NBC News as a “drunk and a troublemaker” who “got himself s—faced and started a fight.”

On June 16, President Biden said he had raised Reed’s case — as well as that of another former Marine, Paul Whelan — with his Russian counterpart when the two leaders met in Geneva.

The US Embassy has protested the lack of consular access to Reed after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 and said he had been repeatedly denied phone calls to his family or embassy staff.

Reed’s parents last month said they were “devastated” to learn he was being transferred from Moscow to a prison camp but that they did not know where or when he would get there, according to CNN.

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) speaks at a press conference about Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan.
Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) speaks at a press conference about Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

On Tuesday, the family-run Free Trevor Reed Twitter account posted that Reed’s “attorneys informed us he was moved to Camp IK-18 in Mordovia for quarantine in July.”

“The US Embassy still has not been notified of his new location. We are concerned for his health,” they added.

On Wednesday, Whelan’s brother also expressed concerns about the American, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison on spying charges — a sentence he rejected as political.

His brother, David, told the media that the family believes the prisoner is somewhere in Mordovia.

Joe Reed, the father of former US Marine Trevor Reed, stands next to a placard of his son outside the US Capitol.
Joe Reed, the father of former US Marine Trevor Reed, stands next to a placard of his son outside the US Capitol.
AFP via Getty Images

“It is difficult to monitor Paul’s health and welfare when the FSIN prison authorities will not respond to any requests for information,” David said.

“The prison has ignored diplomatic notes sent by the US Embassy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and which were, apparently, relayed. They have ignored requests from Paul’s lawyers,” he added.

“We continue to seek regular contact with Paul and monitor his case closely,” the State Department spokesperson told CNN.

Source link