Outraged over Biden’s decision to negotiate the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner while former marine Paul Whelan is still falsely detained in Russia? Read below to learn more about Paul and how you can help.
Paul Nicholas Whelan, a US citizen and 51-year-old resident of Novi, Michigan, was arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service (“FSB”) in Moscow on December 28, 2018, and has been accused of committing espionage against Russia.
Paul traveled to Moscow on December 22, 2018, and subsequently met with his former Marine friend in addition to other Russians with whom he cultivated friendships on prior visits. During his visit, Paul led tours for the American wedding guests around Moscow. Then, on December 28, Paul disappeared. When he did not show up at the wedding, his friend was immediately concerned and filed a missing person report to the US Embassy in Moscow.
Receiving this news in the US, the Whelan family was frantic with worry. The first news the family received about the fate of their son and brother came three days after they found out he was missing, when Paul’s twin brother, David Whelan, came across a Reuters story that put out the barest facts: American citizen Paul Whelan had been arrested by the FSB in Moscow, set up by a Russian he thought was a friend.
Paul was held for 18 months in Lefortovo prison and in June, 2020, Paul was given a 16-year sentence on trumped-up charges of espionage. In spite of Russia not producing any credible evidence against Paul, he is now serving that sentence at a prison camp in Mordovia, 8 hours from Moscow. He has the full support of the Embassies of the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland, and his family continues to hope that these governments will work together to effect Paul’s release and safe return home.
Paul Whelan is being wrongfully detained, and no government official of conscience should want him to suffer needlessly, as he is doing now.
The Whelan family is doing their best, but our voices alone won’t make a difference. Please consider calling your federal and local government representatives (Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, MPs, Premiers, etc.) and letting them know that you are concerned about Paul Whelan, and want to know EXACTLY what is being done to get him out of Russia.