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Peters Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Paul Whelan’s Unjust Detention in Russia

DETROIT, MIU.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today released the statement below in advance of the one-year anniversary since Russian authorities detained Novi resident Paul Whelan on December 28, 2018. Since Whelan’s detention, Russian authorities have presented no evidence against him and continue to delay his trial, despite concerns surrounding his health.

“After one year of detention – without due process and restricted consular access for American officials – the Russians have presented no credible evidence against Paul. It is clear that Paul’s detention is a political stunt by the Russians, and it is past time they release him. I remain very concerned about Paul’s well-being, and I’m going to continue working with his family to press for answers and ensure we’re doing everything we can to bring this nightmare to an end.

“Enough is enough: the Russian government needs to let Paul go.”

Earlier this year, Peters joined a bipartisan group of members in the Michigan Congressional delegation in urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press for a fair and transparent judicial process for Whelan. He has also called on President Trump to take “all appropriate action” to advocate for Whelan’s release and he urged the President to have the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to work on securing Whelan’s release. Peters also led a bipartisan and bicameral effort calling for the Russian government to release Whelan and introduced a Senate resolution pressing for Whelan’s release and condemning Russia. Peters recently authored an op-ed in the Oakland Press on Whelan’s detention, which can be read by clicking here.