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State Dept says it doesn’t know where American Trevor Reed is being held in Russia

By Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood, CNN

The US Embassy in Moscow says it still does not know the whereabouts of American citizen Trevor Reed, who was sentenced to 9 years in prison last summer by the Russian government.

A State Department spokesperson tells CNN that they’re “concerned that after three weeks, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has not been notified of Trevor Reed’s whereabouts. We continue to press the Russian authorities for consular access to him.”

In mid-July, Reed’s parents said that he was being transferred from Moscow to a Russian prison camp but that they did not know where he was going or when he would get there, and said they were “devastated.”

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

‘Concerned for his health’

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

Another American jailed in Russia, Paul Whelan, has not spoken to anyone in his family or legal team in a month and they believe he is somewhere in Mordovia, his brother David Whelan said in an email to the media Wednesday.

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

Paul Whelan — who is an American, Irish, British and Canadian citizen — was detained at a Moscow hotel in December 2018 by Russian authorities who alleged he was involved in an intelligence operation. Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in prison on an espionage charge he vehemently denies.

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

David Whelan noted that “the resources to provide consular support for Paul out in the middle of Mordovia have never been thinner,” given a new restriction by the Russian government barring the US from retaining, hiring or contracting Russian or third-country staff.

“These unfortunate measures will severely impact the U.S. mission to Russia’s operations, potentially including the safety of our personnel as well as our ability to engage in diplomacy with the Russian government,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement last week.

US President Joe Biden said he had discussed the cases of Whelan and Reed during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, pledging to “follow through” on that discussion.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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