The parents of Trevor Reed, imprisoned in Russia, protest outside the White House
The family of Trevor Reed, a US citizen and former Marine serving in Russia, met with President Joe Biden Wednesday after he protested outside the White House to bring officials’ attention to their son’s case.
A native of Texas, Reed wasin 2020 on charges of assaulting police officers after a drunk night in Moscow a year earlier. Reed’s sentence is believed to be one of the harshest on the charges in Russia. Reed said he had no recollection of the incident and pleaded not guilty.
Biden vowed to work to end the “nightmare” of his incarceration, the White House said.
“President Biden today met with Joey and Paula Reed, the parents of Trevor Reed, who is wrongfully imprisoned in Russia,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“During their meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to continue working to secure the release of Trevor, Paul Whelan and other Americans unjustly being held in Russia and elsewhere.”
US officials have accused Russia of holding Reed andwho is also a former US Marine and who was jailed on espionage charges when .
A spokesman for Reed said on Twitter Tuesday that the former Marine was “on hunger strike again and back in solitary confinement.”
Reed had previously gone to ain November 2021, which he held due to the conditions, including “in protest of being repeatedly placed in a penal isolation ward,” his lawyers said at the time.
On Wednesday, Russia’s Federal Prison Service confirmed that Reed was on a hunger strike at his prison in the Mordovia region, about 300 miles south-east of Moscow.
“On Monday, March 28, convict Reed went on a hunger strike after disagreeing with the sentence imposed on him by the prison’s Disciplinary Committee, given the circumstances of the convict’s misconduct and past conduct,” the service said.
“Right now, Reed is under constant surveillance by medical personnel. The convict is in a satisfactory condition,” the statement added.
Russia-US diplomatic relations have been in decline for months, and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens to bring them to a halt. Moscow said last week that President Bidenhad brought bilateral relations to the brink of collapse.
Since then, Biden has also stated in a speech in Poland that Putin “cannot remain in power.”
Reduced communication between Russian and American diplomatic missions could result in Washington losing little more access to Americans detained in Russia.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said US diplomats are being denied access to Reed and Whelan, who US officials say are being held on fabricated charges.
Another US citizen detained in Russia iswho was arrested at Moscow airport in mid-February for attempting to pack vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.