Day 259 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update September 13 - House/Senate resolutions introduced

U.S. Senators and Representatives gave Paul a public show of support yesterday.  Their press conference marked the introduction of resolutions in both houses of Congress (S.Res. 308 and H.Res. 502) that urge the Russian government to show their evidence, and to treat Paul fairly and in accordance with Russian and international law.  
 
It is clear why the U.S. Senators and Representatives are frustrated.  Paul has stated in court that he is wrongfully imprisoned for political reasons and is mistreated.  These resolutions reflect that his mistreatment is visible to many others.
 
The resolutions ask for Paul to be treated fairly.  Paul's ability to speak with US consular officials shouldn't be unlawfully limited, as has happened repeatedly.  He should not suffer human rights abuses in the Lefortovo prison, documented by Russian prison monitors and noted by Paul in court appearances.  Most fundamentally, Paul's lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, has noted that the Russian prosecutor has no evidence.  The Congressional resolutions ask that the Russian government show why they are holding Paul, if they can.
 
If they can't, Paul should be freed and sent home.
 
"It's not a partisan issue, it's an American issue," said Rep. Walberg, who represents our parent's village of Manchester, in the press conference.  No American should find themselves in the situation Paul is in.  Republicans and Democrats from Paul's home state of Michigan and beyond are standing up for his rights.  
 
We thank Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow for introducing the resolution in the Senate.  Representatives Haley Stevens, Tim Walberg, Andy Levin, Daniel Kildee, Debbie Dingell, Bill Huizenga, Fred Upton, John Moolenaar, Brenda Lawrence, Elissa Slotkin, and Jack Bergman represent Michiganders like Paul and our parents, and co-sponsored the House version of the resolution.  They were joined by Representatives Peter King of New York and Bill Keating of Massachusetts, who represents our sister.  
 
Elizabeth said, "Paul is an extraordinary brother, but an ordinary American."  The awful situation that Paul finds himself in could happen to anyone, when relationships between nations break down.  As Rep. Keating,  Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, Energy and Environment subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted, the "actions of the Russian officials do not reflect the actions of the Russian people as a whole."  The current actions of the Russian police and government are a departure from even their own norms.  This is about Paul being treated fairly, which should be a goal of any nation.  
 
Paul's family is thankful for the support the US government is showing Paul, in its Moscow-based consular services and now in Congress.  We hope that these efforts will continue to sustain Paul and eventually lead to his release and return to his family.
 
 
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