Day 1546 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - March 23, 2023 - Not Forgotten, But Not Home

I hope that President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau, when they meet today, will take a moment to discuss Paul Whelan and what countries should do for their arbitrarily detained citizens.  Canada led the 2021 Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations.  But good intentions need to lead to positive results and require action.  

We are grateful for the continued support of the Global Affairs Canada staff at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow.  They visited Paul last week and were able to deliver some personal supplies he'd requested. They also delivered about 20 kgs of mail to the prison, mail that has been received since December, when Ms. Griner and our family encouraged people to write to Paul. I have wondered if Mordovia contains enough translators to read the mail for the prison.  Both the consular visit and seeing the mail reassures Paul that he has not been forgotten.

But it has now been 1,546 days since Paul was arbitrarily detained by Russian authorities.  If there was ever a poster child for Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations, it is Paul: detained in harsh conditions, deprived of access to justice, use of torture like sleep deprivation and solitary confinement, and ongoing degrading treatment.  We hope Canada will contribute whatever resources and support it can to the White House's efforts to bring Paul, born in Ottawa, back to freedom.