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Convicted US spy complains about medical treatment in prison — rights activist

Whelan was found guilty of spying against Russia and sentenced to 16 years in a high-security colony

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. US citizen Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia on espionage charges, has complained about medical services in his prison, a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Andrei Babushkin, has told TASS.

"He complained about medical treatment and communication difficulties: he does not speak Russian, while prison staff and doctors do not speak English," he said.

"Apart from that, as I understand, he needs special shoes, which he does not have," Babushkin added.

Along with other activities, members of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights inspect penitentiary facilities.

On December 28, 2018, Whelan, who holds US, UK, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in a room of the Metropol Hotel in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission.

The FSB opened a criminal case against him on charges of espionage under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code. On June 15, 2020, the Moscow City Court found Whelan guilty of spying against Russia and sentenced him to 16 years in a high-security colony. Whelan is serving his sentence in Correctional Colony No. 17 in Mordovia.