Former US Marine Trevor Reed on hunger strike to protest Russian imprisonment, family says

“We have received a report from a lawyer that Trevor has started a hunger strike to protest his arbitrary detention and the numerous and flagrant violations by the Russian authorities of his basic human rights and his rights under Russian law,” the parents said. of Reed, Joey and Paula, and Sister Taylor said in a statement Monday.

“While we are immensely proud of our son’s strength of character, we are also extremely concerned for his health,” they said.

The Reed family said their concern is “magnified by the Russian authorities’ decision to hold Trevor incommunicado,” making it “impossible” for them or the US embassy to monitor his health.

Reed, who is a former US Marine, began his hunger strike on Thursday, Paula Reed told CNN.

Russian prison authorities deny that Reed is on a hunger strike, Russian state media Tass reported on Tuesday.

“The information circulating in the media about a hunger strike by convict Trevor Reed is false. He did not declare a hunger strike to the facility management, and he has been eating as scheduled,” said the Federal Prison Service of the Republic of Russia. Mordovia, where Reed is imprisoned, told Tass.

When asked about the denial, Joey Reed told CNN: “This is the last chapter of the book full of lies from the Russians.”

“They’ve lied to us about so many other things, so we really don’t believe what they’re saying is true,” added Paula Reed.

Trevor Reed, 30, was sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020 by a Moscow court for endangering the “life and health” of Russian police officers in an altercation after a night of drinking. He and his family have denied the charges.
A russian court denied Reed’s appeal in late June.
He was transferred from Moscow prison to Mordovia penal colony, a spokesman for Reed’s family. Announced in August.

“The Russian authorities are holding Trevor in a small room with a hole in the floor for a bathroom. They will not allow him to communicate in his own language, receive books or letters, receive items from the police station as other prisoners do, nor will they allow him. Not only have prison officials refused to provide him with the items they explicitly agreed to accept from Ambassador (John) Sullivan last month, they are also making fun of him, “the Reed family said in their statement on Monday.

The family hopes to meet with President Joe Biden and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan when they visit Washington next month and that Reed’s hunger strike will receive the same attention as when Russia opposition leader Alexey Navalny went on a hunger strike earlier this year.

“We are asking for prayers for Trevor and our family during this time and we urge the White House to find the political will to bring our son home,” they said.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that he had seen reports that Reed had gone on a hunger strike, but was unable to comment on them due to privacy considerations.

US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan last visited Reed on September 22, according to Price, who said Monday that he suspects Sullivan “will have another chance to visit” Reed along with Paul Whelan, another former US Marine currently detained in Russia.

“We continue to seek contact with Trevor as we monitor his case closely,” Price said in a department briefing.

US Charge d’Affaires in Moscow, Bart Gorman, tweeted on Tuesday: “We are aware of reports that #TrevorReed is on a hunger strike. We remain very concerned about his treatment and are closely monitoring. We urge the Russian government. to do the right thing and return it to his family. We will not stop defending Trevor @mfa_russia. “

CNN’s Zahra Ullah contributed to this report.

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