Paul Whelan is spending his 4th Veteran's Day as a hostage of the Russian government. His wrongful detention continues despite attempts to secure his freedom by the Biden Administration. But so far, the Russian representative discussing Paul's, and Brittney Griner's, possible freedom continues to act in bad faith.
Paul has been in a strict regime labor colony for more than 2 years of the past 46 months. He is still woken up every 2 hours through the night, just as he has for the last 2 years. Each day that he spends as a Russian prisoner is another in which his human rights are violated and justice is denied him. We want him home.
We appreciate the continued outspoken advocacy by the Biden Administration. Press Secretary Jean-Pierre's and Secretary Blinken's statements this week mean a lot to our family and to Paul. And despite the obstacles the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs places in their way, Paul continues to get support from other quarters. British Embassy staff visited him this week, bringing some special British food and a boost fto his morale.
These in-person visits are incredibly important. They give outsiders a chance to see what Paul is faring under these intolerable conditions. They can see and speak to him directly. Even our parents have no idea what Paul looks like now, as they haven't seen a photo of him since his picture was published at his trial back in 2020. And these visits remind Paul that he's not forgotten. He received a letter recently from Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, which contained words of encouragement. She confirmed that both she and Prime Minister Trudeau were monitoring his wrongful detention closely.
Our family is grateful for this attention. The consular support is a lifeline for Paul. I don't think he'd survive without it. But we hope that all of this attention will translate into his freedom soon.