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Russian diplomats mention compatriots held in US in response to demands to release Whelan

On Saturday, the US Embassy informed on Twitter that Whelan’s health is under threat

MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has mentioned Russian citizens held at US prisons in response to the demand made by the US Embassy in Russia to release suspected spy Paul Whelan, currently detained in Moscow.

On Saturday, the US Embassy informed on Twitter that Whelan’s health is under threat, however, the detention facility he is currently at refuses to provide medical reports or to carry out an independent medical examination. "It is time to let him go home, where Paul can receive the necessary medical help," the US diplomats wrote.

The Russian Foreign Ministry posted a reply to the US embassy’s tweet, reminding that over 50 Russians are currently held at US prisons. "Letting a person go home, where they can receive the necessary medical help: does it only concern Paul Whelan? There are millions of prisoners in the US, including over 50 Russian citizens, many of them with health issues. Let them go," the ministry stressed.

On Friday, during the prosecution’s appeal to prolong Whelan’s detention period, the detained US prisoner’s health condition declined, an ambulance was called. Whelan’s lawyer informed TASS that the detainee has contracted an inguinal hernia.

US citizen Paul Whelan, 48, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish passports, is a global security chief at BorgWarner, a Michigan-based automotive components company. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) informed that Whelan had been detained on December 28, 2018 in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission. A criminal investigation was opened against him on espionage charges carrying a punishment of up to 20 years behind bars.