Day 636 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - Sept 24, 2020 - Ambassador Sullivan Visit

We are grateful to U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan for going with his consular staff to Mordovia. From a summary we received, it sounds like Paul greatly appreciated the effort of the Ambassador to make such an extraordinary visit. It was the first time that Paul had been able to sit and speak with consular staff since February.

Unlike the improper restrictions placed on consular visits at Lefortovo by the FSB, prison authorities allowed a normal consular visit, a first for Paul. U.S. Embassy staff delivered over 100 letters that had accumulated for Paul in Moscow over the past 6 months. He will finally be able to catch up on what has been happening since his trial in June.

Paul has received a postcard at the labor camp from our parents. We are hopeful that Paul's mail will not be interfered with as it was in Lefortovo. If any of you are interested in writing, I've included the address at the bottom of this message. The postcard from the US took 6 weeks to arrive. I'm sure he'd be happy to answer any questions. Letters go through censors, both ways, just like at any prison.

Our family agrees with Ambassador Sullivan, that Paul was "unjustly tried and convicted by a Russian court." We appreciate the continued efforts by all of the embassies overseeing Paul's health and legal welfare. This continued advocacy - as Ambassador Sullivan said, "advocating for Paul - for fair treatment, and for his immediate release" - is the only thing that will undo this injustice.

Unfortunately, Ambassador Sullivan also noted in an interview that U.S.-Russian Federation relations have only deteriorated in recent years. We realize that Paul's freedom depends on Secretary of State Pompeo and Ambassador Carstens, President Trump's Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA), being able to overcome that deterioration. We hope they're successful. Paul's release might be a start to filling in that hole, rather than digging it deeper.

[ US Embassy tweets: ]
[ Ambassador Sullivan's statement: ]
[ Interview w/ Ambassador Sullivan: ]

Paul's address at IK-17:

431161, Russia
Mordovia Republic
Zubovo-Polyanskiy Rayon
posyolok Ozernyi, St. Lesnaya 3
Whelan Paul

431161, Россия
Республика Мордовия
Зубово-Полянский район
п. Озерный, ул. Лесная, д. 3
Уилану Полу Николасу