President Joe Biden met with Joey and Paula Reed, the parents of Trevor Reed, a U.S. citizen and former Marine imprisoned in a Russian prison in Mordovia.
During the meeting, the president reaffirmed his commitment to continue working toward the release of Trevor, Paul Whelan, and other Americans who have been wrongfully detained in Russia and other countries, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“The president has reaffirmed his commitment to provide every assistance to these individuals and others up to the point of their release and return home to the families who are passionately seeking their release,” Psaki stressed.
She said Biden also pledged that the White House national security team would maintain regular contact with the families of these individuals in order to share information and facilitate their release.
Trevod Reed went on a hunger strike to protest his solitary confinement and lack of adequate medical care. Reid fears that he has tuberculosis. The hunger strike was announced Wednesday by Reid’s parents, citing his lawyer. According to information available to his parents, Reed had been in contact with an inmate with active tuberculosis last December.
When Reed’s health deteriorated severely, he was not tested for tuberculosis. He remained in the prison hospital for ten days without receiving “substantial medical care there, except for an X-ray, which was not taken properly.” He was then returned to solitary confinement. Reed’s attorney confirmed that his client had begun a hunger strike.
The 30-year-old Texan is serving a nine-year prison sentence in Mordovia. In July 2020, a Russian court sentenced him to nine years in prison in a case involving an attack on police officers in Moscow in the summer of 2019. In court, Reid denied the charges against him. He and his family insist the case is politically motivated. The U.S. has called Reid’s trial “a theater of the absurd.”
Reed had already declared a hunger strike in November 2021, but stopped it due to deteriorating health.