Michigan Congressional Delegation Joint Statement on Paul Whelan Sentencing in Russia

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) and U.S. Representatives Haley Stevens (MI-11), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Fred Upton (MI-06), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) and Andy Levin (MI-09) today released the following joint statement on the sentencing of Michigan resident Paul Whelan in Russia:

“For 17 months, Paul Whelan has been unjustly detained by the Russian government. Russia has not presented any credible evidence to prove their outlandish charges, and they have refused to grant Mr. Whelan his basic human rights or the ability to properly defend himself in court.

“Today the Russian government harshly sentenced Paul Whelan despite not presenting credible evidence and denying him basic rights. This has gone on long enough.

“During his detention, Mr. Whelan has endured unimaginable hardships. He was denied necessary medical care until his condition required a life-saving emergency surgery. He was barred from speaking to his family for over a year. He has been threatened by prison guards.

“Despite months of harsh and cruel treatment, we remain steadfast in our commitment to working with the Whelan family to end this nightmare. Mr. Whelan should not continue to be held as a political prisoner, and he should be allowed to return home to his family in Michigan immediately.”

Last year, Peters introduced a resolution pressing for Whelan’s release and condemning Russia. Stevens and Walberg introduced a companion resolution in the House of Representatives.