Russian Prosecutors Launch Probe Into Whelan's Complaints of Prison Corruption - Brother
© Sputnik / Kirill KallinikovRussia Paul Whelan Court
© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov/
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russian prosecutors have launched an investigation into American citizen Paul Whelan’s allegations of prison corruption and other violations of Russian law in the facility in which he is being held, his brother David Whelan said on Thursday in a statement.
"In a call to our parents, Paul said that he had met with a representative from the ‘general prosecutor's’ office … The Prosecutor has launched an investigation into Paul's complaints of corruption at the prison. Paul says that the Prosecutor acknowledged that Paul's complaints comprised human rights abuses and violations of Russian law," David said.
Paul is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia for espionage. Whelan denied the charges against him but did not challenge the Moscow court’s ruling last June, in hopes of being part of a potential prisoner exchange between the US and Russia.
Paul told his parents during a recent phone call that he requested an investigation into corruption taking place at the facility, noting that a prison warden was arrested for corruption after allegedly threatening Whelan with retaliation for reporting human rights abuses.
8 November 2021, 07:57 GMT
"Corruption here knows no bounds. Concerns include theft, extortion, retaliation, fabricated disciplinary charges, blocking lawyer and consular access, obstructing legal processes, fabricated documents, discrimination as well as rats in the building," Paul asserted.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday during a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov raised "the unjust detentions of Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed" and underscored the priority the US attached to their prompt release, the State Department said. US citizen Reed was sentenced to nine years in July 2020 for assaulting police officers who were called to respond during his drunken row with two women in a Moscow street.