Paul called our parents over the weekend. Warden Denisov has banned phone calls from Paul to anyone other than our parents and consular staff, in apparent retaliation for the CNN interview that aired last week. It is not surprising and the only silver lining is that he is able to still speak to our parents.
Russian news reported this morning that the Public Monitoring Commission is making its regularly scheduled visit to IK-17. Perhaps they'll be able to help Paul understand how to apply for clemency from President Putin without any Russian language comprehension or access to his case file.
Or perhaps Vladimir Zherebenkov can help Paul? Mr. Zherebenkov noted that he had not spoken with his client in some time (since August 2020, when Paul was spirited out of Moscow). But Mr. Zherebenkov also noted that he was planning a visit to Mordovia to see Paul at the labor camp. ["Пока детально прокомментировать его письма президентам двух стран не могу, я планировал встретиться с ним в колонии примерно через две недели»"] That was news to us and so I have asked Olga Karlova, Mr. Zherebenkov's English-speaking co-counsel, for any additional information.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the two Presidents may discuss Russian and American prisoners at next week's summit. We remain hopeful that one of the outcomes of the summit will be to lay the foundation for Paul's eventual freedom.
[CNN Interview with Paul over phone from IK-17: Jennifer Hansler on Twitter: "I asked Paul Whelan what message he has for Biden ahead of Putin summit. "Decisive action is needed immediately. The abduction of American citizens cannot stand anywhere in the world," he told me from Russian labor camp where he is serving 16 years for espionage charge he denies" / Twitter
[ONK to visit IK-17: Onc Mordovia plans to visit the colony where Whelan, convicted of espionage, is serving his sentence - Volga region || Interfax Russia (interfax-russia.ru)
[Mr. Zherebenkov plans visit to Mordovia: Paul Whelan counts the days before the summit - Kommersant Newspaper No 95 (7057) from 04.06.2021 <https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4839561> ]
[Mr. Peskov says Presidents Putin and Biden may discuss Russian and American Prisoners: Putin and Biden may discuss convicted Russians and Americans in Geneva - News - World - Kommersant <https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4848255> ]
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