Day 1561 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - April 7, 2023 - Political Advocacy for Wrongfully Detained Americans

We are grateful to the White House and Secretary Blinken for continuing to speak out about their commitment to securing Paul's release.  It can be peaks and valleys for our hopes when the U.S. government speaks out and then goes silent for a while.  We hope that Administration representatives will continue to press for Paul to be freed as soon as possible.

Today's exceptional joint statement by Senators McConnell and Schumer about the wrongful detainment of Mr. Gershkovich underscores the bi-partisan concern the U.S. government is now bringing to these cases.  We hope that Congress will continue to ask the Biden Administration for answers and information on what steps are being taken to bring wrongfully detained Americans home.  Secretary Blinken has said that "increased pressure and increased sanctions" will be brought to bear on these cases.  The sooner the better.  If there are resources that have not already been brought to bear on Paul's case, it's time that they be used.

The Bring Our Families Home campaign will be holding a vigil and rally in Washington D.C. at the start of May.  If you are able to attend, you will find recently released Americans as well as families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained.  This is a great opportunity for those of you who are looking for more wrongful detention stories or coverage to speak to families whose loved one's cases may not have received much or any media coverage.  Details are on the infographic below.

It is more than a week since we last heard from Paul.  His last daily phone call to anyone was to our parents on Wednesday, Mach 29.  As I mentioned, we understand that he and some other non-Russian prisoners were moved to a prison hospital, although not for medical reasons.  We hope that, wherever he is, he is safe and healthy and that is able to call home soon.