Sunday was the day we learned that a Russian prosecutor had issued a report critical of IK-17 prison staff due to an incident involving Paul. It was also the last day Paul called our parents. In a lifeline that he uses on a daily basis, it is highly irregular that Paul would miss even one day, let alone 3, to call our parents.
The prosecutor found that, despite it being such a small interaction, IK-17 staff had acted illegally.
Contrary to the requirements of subparagraphs "Zh", "K" of paragraph 8 of Chapter II, paragraph 11 of subparagraphs "b", "C" of paragraph 12 of Chapter I of the order of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia dated 11.01.2012 No. 5 "On approval of the code of ethics and official conduct of employees and federal state civil servants of the penal system ", clause 19 of the Internal Regulations of Correctional Institutions, approved by order of the Ministry of Justice of Russia dated December 16, 2016, part 2 of Article 12 of the RF PEC, 09/10/2021 an employee of IK-17 at the entrance to the building of the administrative headquarters of IK-17 and passing past convict Whelan P.N., who stood with his back to the entrance, despite the norms of the rules of relations with convicts and official behavior, made illegal contact with this convict by touching Whelan P.N. on the shoulder with his right hand, thereby showing arrogance and disdain for the last one. [Report of S. V. Petrunin, Senior Counselor of Justice, Dubravny Prosecutor for Supervision of Compliance with Laws in Correctional Institutions] [Google Translate]
So the cycle of pettiness continues. IK-17 officials violate their own rules and regulations and, if anyone complains, they violate new ones. Paul is at their mercy, whether it's the theft of his belongings or more obvious human rights abuses. We do not currently know whether he is just prohibited from using a phone or if he has been put into solitary confinement.
Prisoners have a right to phone calls, as outlined in FSIN Regulation 295 §84. Paul has already been restricted to a single phone call a day, which he has used to speak either to our parents or to US Embassy staff. Only prisoners in solitary have this right eliminated. We hope this is not where Paul is. IK-17 put him in solitary for 30 days in July/August, which is considered torture under the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
[FSIN Prison Regulation 295 (2016), p. 20, §§84-92]
[UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Mandela Rules, No. 44 (PDF)]
We are grateful to Olga Karlova, his lawyer, who filed the initial complaint after hearing from me with Paul's message. And we appreciate that the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Mordovia takes these complaints seriously enough to investigate. As Paul's wrongful detention continues, we're grateful to have help keeping an eye on his condition and his captors. Our family continues to look to the US government to find a way to secure Paul's freedom.