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Friday, February 3, 2023

Paul Whelan, an American Imprisoned in Russia, Is Hospitalized

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The Biden administration is “deeply involved” about Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia who has been transferred to a jail hospital, a White Home spokesman mentioned on Wednesday.

Mr. Whelan’s brother, David, mentioned in emails to supporters this week that his brother was moved on Nov. 17 to a hospital within the jail the place he’s being held.

His household, who haven’t heard from him in every week, grew significantly alarmed when Mr. Whelan missed a scheduled name dwelling on Thanksgiving Day and additional nonetheless when he did not name dwelling on Wednesday, his father’s eighty fifth birthday.

“Paul was not complaining of any well being circumstances that required hospitalization, so has there been an emergency?” David Whelan wrote. He added that his brother “appeared wholesome and properly” to U.S. Embassy employees who visited him in November.

John Kirby, a Nationwide Safety Council spokesman, advised reporters in a phone briefing on Wednesday that the U.S. authorities had been making an attempt unsuccessfully to get info on Mr. Whelan’s situation and his whereabouts.

“As we communicate this morning, regrettably, we would not have an replace particularly about the place he’s or what situation he’s in,” Mr. Kirby mentioned. He added: “We’re deeply involved in regards to the lack of know-how and the shortage of contact from Paul, and we’re engaged on this actually as onerous as we will by means of diplomatic channels.”

Talking on MSNBC throughout a go to to Bucharest, Romania, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned that U.S. officers had visited Mr. Whelan on Nov. 16 and spoken to him by cellphone at “roughly” the identical time however had not had contact with him since. “We’re working on daily basis to guarantee that we have now contact with him, that we perceive what the precise scenario is,” Mr. Blinken mentioned.

David Whelan mentioned in an e mail on Wednesday: “It may very well be nothing however, on this case, you at all times have to contemplate worst case situations.”

Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who later labored as a company safety government, was arrested at a Moscow lodge in December 2018 and was convicted in June 2020 on espionage prices that the U.S. authorities says have been manufactured.

U.S. officers have linked Mr. Whelan’s destiny to that of Brittney Griner, the American skilled basketball participant imprisoned in Russia, and have been making an attempt for months to barter their joint launch. The US has provided to launch from federal jail a infamous Russian arms seller, Viktor Bout, in change for the 2 Individuals. Russia has but to simply accept the supply.

In a Nov. 9 assertion, the White Home mentioned that it had “continued to observe up on that supply and suggest different potential methods ahead with the Russians by means of all out there channels” however didn’t supply additional particulars.

Mr. Whelan is being held at a high-security jail known as IK-17, about an eight-hour drive from Moscow.

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