NEW YORK, November 30. /TASS/. US national Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia for spying, has been transferred to a prison hospital, his brother David Whelan told reporters.
"The labor colony staff at IK-17 say he was moved on Friday, November 17 (the day after the US and Irish Embassy visit) to the hospital prison," he said on Tuesday. "Paul was not complaining of any health conditions that required hospitalization. <…> He appeared healthy and well to the Embassy staff."
In his words, Paul Whelan "has always mentioned when he's been transferred to the prison hospital," but said nothing of this kind during the phone conversation with his family on November 23.
David Whelan suggested that his brother has probably been put in solitary confinement.
Commenting on the information, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told NBC later in the day that the US administration was concerned by the reports.
In his words, the US embassy in Russia is trying to learn more about Whelan’s health via diplomatic channels.
On December 28, 2018, Whelan, who holds US, UK, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service in a room of Moscow’s Metropol Hotel while on a spy mission. The FSB opened a criminal case against him on charges of espionage under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code. The Moscow City Court found Whelan guilty of spying against Russia and sentenced him to 16 years in a high security colony.