Walberg, Stevens, Peters, Stabenow Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolution Calling on the Russian Government to Provide Evidence or to Release Michigander Paul Whelan
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07), Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11), Senator Gary Peters, and Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution calling on the Russian Government to release Michigan native, Paul Whelan, or provide evidence supporting his detention.
Mr. Whelan, a former Marine and police officer, has been detained in Russia for two years after visiting the country for a wedding. He has been held without evidence and has not received a fair or transparent trial. Mr. Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian workhouse, and without access to medical care, his health is rapidly deteriorating.
“We have been advocating for Paul Whelan's freedom for over two years now. Throughout his time as a political prisoner, Paul has lacked proper care and experienced undue adversity to his wellbeing. This maltreatment and denial of basic rights—in Russia’s prison and courtroom—is a travesty,” said Rep. Walberg. “By reintroducing our bipartisan resolution, we are once again renewing our call for Paul’s immediate release and return to home. To the Whelan family: We continue to stand with you, and we will not rest until Paul is reunited with his loved ones in Michigan.”
“We have repeatedly asked the Russian government to give my constituent, Paul Whelan a fair and transparent judicial process to no avail,” said Rep. Stevens. “He continues to suffer in prison, with limited consular access and his health is rapidly deteriorating. If Russia cannot produce any evidence after keeping an American citizen detained for two years, they must release him immediately. Let Paul come home and get the medical care he needs. I am grateful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress have joined me in calling for Paul’s release. I will continue to fight for Paul alongside my Michigan colleagues. We will not rest until he is safely home in the United States.
“More than two years ago Michigander Paul Whelan was detained by Russian authorities,” said Senator Peters. “As he serves a 16-year prison sentence — following a sham trial with no due process or credible evidence — we must continue to denounce the Russian government for their political games and press for Paul’s release and safe return home to Michigan. I will continue working with my colleagues, Paul’s family and the Biden Administration to reaffirm our support for Paul and push to end this nightmare.”
“Paul Whelan’s medical condition is becoming more serious with each passing day. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration, my colleagues and Paul’s family to end his unjust imprisonment and bring him home,” said Senator Stabenow.
On October 22, 2019, the House unanimously passed H.Res. 522, a bipartisan resolution introduced by Reps. Walberg and Stevens, calling for Paul Whelan's release.