Today is Paul's 1,070th day as a wrongful detainee of the Russian government. 35 months in which Paul has been unjustly deprived of his freedom. We continue to work and advocate for his release.
The arrest of the warden of Paul's labor colony has not ended concerns about corruption at IK-17. In a call to our parents, Paul said that he had met with a representative from the "general prosecutor's" office [11/30/2021]. The Prosecutor has launched an investigation into Paul's complaints of corruption at the prison. Paul says that the Prosecutor acknowledged that Paul's complaints comprised human rights abuses and violations of Russian law.
It is hard to explain to Paul how widespread corruption and illegality is in Russian government agencies. Just down the road, at the Russian labor colony that holds Trevor Reed, another American citizen and Marine veteran wrongfully convicted, an IK-12 prison guard has been arrested on drugs-related charges. The guard had been using a personal greenhouse to grow illegal cannabis.
It's a constant reminder that any claim in Russia of adherence to the rule of law, or to seeking justice, or to following humane treatment is a veneer. Scrape it away and you will find Russian authorities in all branches, at all levels, running their own personal fiddles. It is no wonder unwitting American citizens fall prey to schemes that result in hostage diplomacy.
We appreciate the efforts of the Mordovian Investigative Committee and the Mordovian Prosecutor's Office in following up these cases. I suppose a silver lining is that Paul's eye on corruption in his labor colony may add advocates for his release: the FSIN employees whose behavior is being scrutinized.
Thank you for your continued interest in Paul's case.