Below is a new update from Elizabeth Whelan, Paul’s sister. In December, it will be 4 years of his unlawful imprisonment. Thank you for your continuing prayers and support, and special thanks for those who write to him. He would love to hear from all of you, and a simple message about your life, your pets, the books you have read, will all be interesting to him. And remembering that he does not hear any English in the prison, your letters will help keep his language skills grounded. His mailing address listed in Elizabeth’s message requires only one first-class stamp.
by Elizabeth Whelan (from the GoFundMe page on behalf of The Paul Whelan Legal Defense Trust)
I am writing today to thank you for your support for Paul and to update you on his situation. Tomorrow will be Paul Whelan’s 4th Veteran’s Day as a hostage of the Russian government. His wrongful detention continues despite attempts to secure his freedom by the Biden Administration. But so far, the Russian representative discussing Paul’s possible freedom continues to act in bad faith.
In late September, I was able to meet with President Biden in the Oval Office at the White House for a long and very good conversation about actions the US government is taking on Paul’s behalf. It is clear to me that we could not ask for a more active and committed group trying to bring Paul home, but the Russians have continued to mess about and not seriously respond to significant offers made to them for the release of Paul, and Brittney Griner. Regardless, the administration and the office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens, continue to pursue every angle.
Our brother David released a statement to media today, which I include below:
Paul has been in a strict regime labor colony for more than 2 years of the past 46 months. He is still woken up every 2 hours through the night, just as he has for the last 2 years. Each day that he spends as a Russian prisoner is another in which his human rights are violated and justice is denied him. We want him home.
We appreciate the continued outspoken advocacy by the Biden Administration. Press Secretary Jean-Pierre’s and Secretary Blinken’s statements this week mean a lot to our family and to Paul. And despite the obstacles the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs places in their way, Paul continues to get support from other quarters. British Embassy staff visited him this week, bringing some special British food and a boost to his morale.
These in-person visits are incredibly important. They give outsiders a chance to see what Paul is faring under these intolerable conditions. They can see and speak to him directly. Even our parents have no idea what Paul looks like now, as they haven’t seen a photo of him since his picture was published at his trial back in 2020. And these visits remind Paul that he’s not forgotten. He received a letter recently from Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, which contained words of encouragement. She confirmed that both she and Prime Minister Trudeau were monitoring his wrongful detention closely.
Our family is grateful for this attention. The consular support is a lifeline for Paul. I don’t think he’d survive without it. But we hope that all of this attention will translate into his freedom soon.
If you are interested in sending Paul holiday greetings, you can write to Paul via the US Embassy in Moscow — the address to get mail to them is as follows and they will get the cards and letters to Paul at IK-17. He will deeply appreciate knowing you are thinking of him:
Paul N. Whelan
c/o American Citizen Services Unit
5430 Moscow Place
Department of State
Washington, DC 20521-5430
Thanks for your continuing concern and support for Paul.