Day 56 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Feb 22, 2019 - Extension of detention by 3 months

Paul will be jailed for at least 90 more days.  We are not at all surprised that the FSB gets what the FSB asks for, whether or not it is justified.  There was never any question that the false charges against Paul would mean his ongoing isolation while the FSB continues its attempts to concoct evidence.  

We are very grateful for Mr. Zherebenkov's attempt to have Paul be allowed to serve his detention under house arrest.  Russian courts do not appear inclined to allow American prisoners to be kept under house arrest, even when it is more appropriate.  But keeping Paul in Lefortovo and making communication with him difficult, like by barring him from using a telephone, obviously serves the FSB more than it serves justice.  

Paul was visited by U.S. Embassy staff on Thursday, the 21st, and consular staff attended his hearing on Friday, the 22d.  Paul has been fortunate to receive an extraordinary amount of consular attention from the US, UK, Canadian, and Irish governments.  As his case continues to drag out, we anticipate that these visits will diminish to a more routine level.  For example, UK and Canada consular staff would normally visit a detainee once every three months.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any sign that other Americans won't be subjected to the same abuses of the rule of law:  interference with consular access, detention without bail on false charges. We will continue to work to make sure Paul is not mistreated while in jail and work for his release from this wrongful detention.