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Ex-United States Marine held in Russia begins hunger strike over in protest of conditions

A former U.S. Marine who is imprisoned in Russia began a hunger strike to protest the conditions and treatment he is experiencing.

Trevor Reed, 28, is an ex-Marine and student at the University of North Texas. He has been imprisoned in Russia for over two years. In summer 2019, he traveled to Moscow, Russia to visit his girlfriend and her family.

While there he was arrested for “endangering the lives of two policemen in Moscow while drunk.” He was convicted last year and sentenced to nine years of prison. His girlfriend told ABC that he began a hunger strike on November 4. He and his family have been working towards regaining his freedom.

His family is reportedly growing frustrated that the Biden administration isn’t doing more to secure his freedom. “While we are immensely proud of our son’s strength of character, we are also extremely worried about his health,” they said in a statement. They confirmed that the hunger strike is in protest of, “his arbitrary detention and Russian authorities’ numerous and flagrant violations of his basic human rights and his rights under Russian law.”

His family began a website entitled “Free Trevor Reed”, which contains information about Reed and his case. He has an attorney in Russia who is in communication with his family. The sentencing was taken back to court this summer, but was upheld. The prison he is being held in is a labor camp in the Mordovia region of Russia for most of this year.

He has been kept in solitary confinement for three months, in a cell with no toilet. Reed has also been prevented from contacting his family for four months. John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, visited the prison and brought items for Reed, which his family reported were never given to him. In a statement to Reuters, Russian prison authorities denied the claims that Reed is on a hunger strike, instead saying that, “He is eating in line with the daily schedule.” They also denied any form of abuse or withheld rights.

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: DALLAS NEWS

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