14:25 GMT +312 December 2019
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    Paul Whelan

    US Embassy Sends Note to Russian Foreign Ministry Over Whelan’s Treatment in Detention

    © Sputnik / Grigory Sysoyev
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Embassy in Russia said in a statement that it had filed a note of protest with the Russian Foreign Ministry over conditions that US citizen Paul Whelan, charged with espionage, faced in a pre-trial detention facility in Russia.

    "The US Embassy has filed a note of protest with the Russian Foreign Ministry over improper treatment that Paul Whelan faces in the pre-trial detention facility. We have asked [the Russian Foreign Ministry] to look into the situation and ensure the safety and protection of Whelan. The well-being of US citizens abroad is our main priority", the US Embassy in Russia wrote on Twitter.

    The statement followed Whelan's complaint about bad treatment that he allegedly received in the detention facility in late May. However, a check by the Russian Public Monitoring Commission has revealed no violations.

    A court in Moscow on 20 June upheld an earlier verdict to prolong Whelan's arrest until 29 August.

    Whelan, who holds US, UK, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was arrested in Moscow in December 2018 on charges of espionage. He denies the accusations and insists that he came to Russia to attend a friend’s wedding. According to the information provided in court, Whelan has been visiting Russia regularly since 2007. He works as a senior manager at an automotive industry company called BorgWarner. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.



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