Key Words: Paul Whelan: ‘I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here’ in Russian jail, as Brittney Griner goes home

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Stock Market

“‘I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.’ ”

That was detained American Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia since December 2018, speaking with CNN on the day that another U.S. detainee, Brittney Griner, was released in a U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange.  “I am greatly disappointed that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four-year anniversary of my arrest is coming up,” Whelan, an ex-U.S. Marine and Michigan corporate-security executive being held in Russia on espionage charges that the U.S. government says are baseless, told CNN.

He also said he was surprised not to be included in the prisoner swap that is bringing Griner, who’d been incarcerated in Russia for nine months over drug charges for possession and smuggling of less than a gram of hashish oil, home in time for Christmas. Griner was let go in exchange for the release by the U.S. of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is known as the “Merchant of Death.” Whelan told CNN that he “was led to believe that things were moving in the right direction, and that the governments were negotiating and that something would happen fairly soon” to get him back home, as well. Read more: Brittney Griner release: ‘Today my family is whole,’ says wife Cherelle Griner President Joe Biden tried to assure Whelan and his family on Friday that the U.S. has not forgotten about him. “This was not a choice about which American to bring home,” he said.  “Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s. We will never give up,” Biden said. He told Whelan’s family that his thoughts and prayers were with them, adding, “We’ll keep negotiating in good faith for Paul’s release. I guarantee you.” Read more: Biden says U.S. will keep pressing for Whelan’s release as Griner freed from Russian prison Whelan told CNN he was aware that his case is more complicated. “They’ve put me at a level higher than what they did with Trevor [Reed] and Brittney,” he said. Whelan was referring to U.S. Marine C …

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