Day 160 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update June 6

The US Embassy sent a request to see Paul, following his statement of mistreatment at the hands of FSB officials during interrogations.  Embassy staff saw Paul on Friday [May 31, 2019] and asked him to provide additional details.  Throughout the visit, Russian authorities attempted to prevent the US representatives from discussing a variety of topics that had been specifically identified in Paul's courtroom statement and the Embassy's subsequent request to see Paul.

One thing we learned was that Paul is not always being interrogated by the FSB at Lefortovo prison.  He indicated that he was also being transported to FSB headquarters - Lubyanka - for interrogations without his lawyers.  Other comments he made suggest the FSB authorities are violating Russian law in their attempts to coerce Paul's confession.

Paul is not the only one to think the FSB are breaking Russian law.  A Russian prison monitor, Eva Mercacheva [Ева Меркачева], described her experiences trying to communicate with Paul on a recent visit. He apparently realized that the only way to get a message across was to learn a few words in Russian:  “The SIZO [prison] is telling lies.”  Perhaps it's a silver lining that his Russian-English dictionary, held back by the FSB investigator for 2 months, had finally arrived.  But the guards shut down his communication anyway.

Irish embassy officials also saw Paul last week and reported him much the same as he has been.  He commented in their visit that he has been subjected to "simulated actions" during the 6 interrogations he's experienced.  We're not sure what that means due to the continued interference with communications by the FSB investigator.  We are hopeful that, in light of Ms. Mercacheva's report, the Human Rights Council will take steps to prevent Paul's continuing mistreatment by the FSB.