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  /  News   /  Paul Whelan calls on Biden to act as if his own son was held hostage

Paul Whelan calls on Biden to act as if his own son was held hostage

Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine who has been detained in Russia since 2018, is calling on President Biden to act in his case “as he would do if his own son were being held hostage.”

“I would hope that the president truly makes my case truly a top priority and leverages the resources available to him as he would do if his own son were being held hostage,” Whelan told CNN in a call Thursday.


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“As the United States celebrates another year of independence, America should not forget that several of its citizens are being held hostage around the world by rogue regimes intent on exacting some form of ransom from the U.S. government. These wrongful detentions undermine our concepts of rights and freedoms. They should not be tolerated, tacitly nor otherwise,” Whelan told CNN, the network reported.

“My detention at the hands of the Russian government over more than five and a half years, for a charge of espionage that never occurred, subjects me to slave labor six days a week, and living conditions that defy human rights,” Whelan added. 

Whelan, who was originally arrested over spying allegations, was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in prison.


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In February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he talked via phone with Whelan. 

“Our intensive efforts to bring Paul home continue every single day. And they will, until he and Evan Gershkovich and every other American wrongfully detained is back with their loved ones,” Blinken said at the time, referencing a reporter for The Wall Street Journal also detained by Russia. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for reaction to Whelan’s remarks.