Statement from U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation John J. Sullivan

The 1,000th Day of Incarceration for Paul Whelan

September 23, 2021

Today is the 1,000th day that American citizen Paul Whelan has spent in prison. Paul was subjected to a secret trial and sentenced to 16 years in a Russian penal colony based on secret evidence. Paul, like everyone, has the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by such a tribunal. Those rights are enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

As the U.S. Ambassador, my most important duty is to help American citizens in need. I was able to visit Paul Whelan this week. During our meeting, I promised to continue speaking out on his behalf at every opportunity until the Russian authorities do the right thing and release Paul.

Every day I work to protect Americans in Russia. Today my thoughts are especially with Paul Whelan, his family, and friends. All of us who care about Paul look forward to the day when he is released by the Russian authorities and is free to return home.