Sun. Jun 16th, 2019

Ex-U.S. Marine held by Russia in spy case illegally isolated: activists

3 min read
[adguru adid="ad_id"]
By Editor / June 7, 2019

MINI NEWS: Big explosion blew every window in Central Linköping

Sweden: Several apartments have been blown up in Linköping, Sweden. From the images Webstynx can confirm it looks like a...

Read More
By Editor / June 6, 2019

MINI NEWS:U.S. Proposed Second Crimea Referendum in 2014

The United States had proposed a second referendum for Crimea to join Russia shortly after Moscow annexed the peninsula in...

Read More
By Editor / June 6, 2019

MINI NEWS: Increased CFC emissions linked to China

Korean Times// CFC-11, a potent greenhouse gas and one of the main culprits in depleting the ozone layer, was set...

Read More
By Editor / June 6, 2019

MINI NEWS: Chinese leader Xi may visit Seoul this month

Chinese President Xi Jinping is rumored to be visiting Seoul this month for a summit with President Moon Jae-in. The...

Read More
By Editor / June 6, 2019

MINI NEWS: CHINA-US TRADE

US-China trade war China- briefing// Total US tariffs applied exclusively to Chinese goods: US$250 billion Total Chinese tariffs applied exclusively...

Read More
By Editor / June 6, 2019

MINI NEWS:

French prime minister calls out for global peace OMAHA BEACH, France (AP reporting) — The Latest on the 75th anniversary...

Read More

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A former U.S. Marine held in Russia on suspicion of spying is being illegally isolated in a Moscow pre-trial detention center and prevented from communicating with visitors, Russian rights activists and U.S. diplomats said.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, detained on suspicion of spying, stands inside a defendants’ cage at a court hearing regarding the extension of his detention, in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 and accused of espionage after being handed a flash drive his lawyer said Whelan thought contained holiday photos but which actually held classified information.

READ:  Consumers Sit Down with Consumer Choice Award winner: James Lynch from Commissionaires Newfoundland and Labrador

Whelan, 49, who faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, believes he was framed and that the case against him is politically motivated revenge for U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia.

He used a court hearing last month to say that his life had been threatened by a Russian investigator and that he was being harassed in custody in an effort to force him to talk.

Andrea Kalan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Moscow, said on Wednesday that officials at the Moscow prison where he is being held ahead of his trial were blocking human rights activists from communicating with Whelan.

“What are investigators hiding?” Kalan, who has previously complained about a lack of evidence in the case, wrote on Twitter.

She referred to an article by a member of Russia’s presidential human rights council who has visited Whelan in jail at least three times.

The article by Eva Merkacheva, a journalist for the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper and member of the rights council, said that guards at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison had prevented her and officials who monitor prison conditions from communicating with Whelan in English, the only language the former marine speaks.

“They (guards) consider that Paul might pass us a secret code,” Merkacheva wrote, saying Whelan’s cell door had been slammed in their face after he had addressed them in English.

“The scene was not simply ugly but harrowing,” she said. “We didn’t find out what it was he wanted to complain about.”

Merkacheva said the authorities had not allowed the use of an interpreter either, and that one of the few things they had managed to hear from Whelan was that the investigator had for two months not allowed him access to any dictionaries.

READ:  Maine Senate rejects ending religious exemptions for vaccinations

“Our view that something strange is going on with Paul Whelan has only been reinforced,” she said, adding that there was nothing in Russian law to justify the prison’s decision to ban the use of English.

She said the rights council, which advises President Vladimir Putin, would write to the prosecutor general’s office to challenge the legality of the prison’s language ban.

Editing by Mark Heinrich

Heard from http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/IwGImxYxpsA/ex-u-s-marine-held-by-russia-in-spy-case-illegally-isolated-activists-idUSKCN1T614Y

Ad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may have missed