Saturday, January 22, 2022

US Accuses Russia Of Denying Medical Access To Ex-Marine Held As Spy

The U.S. embassy in Moscow has accused Russia of preventing a doctor from visiting Paul Whelan in the jail where the former Marine has been held for months on espionage charges that he says are trumped up.

The embassy’s Twitter account on Monday wrote that while Whelan was receiving “basic medical care” his condition required more than could be provided in the pre-trial detention center where he is locked up.

“Our petition for a consultation with a visiting doctor was denied,” the embassy wrote, saying Whelan’s “condition worsened” afterwards.

Whelan’s brother, David, on Monday told ABC News that he wasn’t willing to identify Paul’s medical conditions but said that his brother, 49, had made prison authorities aware he has “medical concerns that are common to men our age.”

“For the most part, he has received adequate first aid care: ibuprofen for aches, etc.” David Whelan wrote in an email. “But he needs to get a doctor’s opinion to get an assessment of risk,” he wrote, because he is unable to know whether his conditions might be becoming dangerous.

Whelan is being held in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, a former KGB jail that is known for housing suspected spies and political prisoners. Whelan has been kept there since his arrest in late December, when agents from Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the FSB, detained him in his hotel room while he was visiting Moscow for an American friends’ wedding.

Russia has charged him with spying but has not made public any details. All charges Whelan has denied.

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