UK Embassy staff traveled to Mordovia and saw Paul on Wednesday [8/4/2021]. They said that he appears healthy. One silver lining to being in solitary confinement for 30 days was that Paul had uninterrupted sleep since the every-two-hour nightly "flight risk" check by guards wasn't made.
Paul said that a fellow inmate described his solitary confinement as more severe than normal. The prison did not allow Paul to shower or exercise during the entire month. This is both a human rights violation and an FSIN regulation violation, neither of which is a surprise at labor colony IK-17. Paul was given an hour of exercise and a chance to shower only the morning of the UK visit, a visit he was not expecting. Paul was released from solitary confinement on Thursday or Friday [8/5/2021 or 8/6/2021].
It is not clear why Paul was put into solitary confinement. Paul still doesn't know. Russian prison monitor Valery Krutov was quoted by Russian media as saying Paul had accumulated "more than 10" minor infractions. The prison has not provided this information to either Paul's lawyers or any consular representatives, despite being requested. Paul has never mentioned anything beyond things like his uniform being out of alignment, things that are apparently documented in Russian but not explained to him in English. Paul has asked to see the list of infractions but they have not been provided to him either.
Paul was able to speak with our parents over this past weekend. He described how he received one such infraction. Paul was asked to go to the prison administration building, which prisoners can't normally go to. When he got there, he was turned away. Paul was then asked to return to the administration building, where he was given an infraction for having responded to the order to go to the administration building the first time. Apparently, Paul was placed in solitary confinement for a month due to an accumulation of pettiness.
We are glad he is able to speak with our parents again. It's hard to believe that this arbitrary punishment had any purpose other than to isolate Paul. He complains to media and others about human rights violations only to have them inflicted again. Paul has still been unable to call the US Embassy or his lawyer. We continue to hope that someone, somewhere, is making an effort to get Paul released.
[Krutov comments on Paul: Wheland will be released from the pre-trial detention center in the near future - PMC - Volga region || Interfax Russia (interfax-russia.ru) ]