Imprisoned for espionage in Russia, former US Marine is attacked in prison

2023-11-28 22:53:15 / BOTA ALFA PRESS

Imprisoned for espionage in Russia, former US Marine is attacked in prison

A former US Marine jailed in Russia on suspicion of espionage has been attacked in prison.

Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years hard labor on espionage charges in 2020, was said to be working at a sewing table early this afternoon when the attack took place.

Free Paul Whelan, a group which supports the ex-marine, said a young prisoner blocked part of the production line and was asked by Mr Whelan to move.

"After repeated demands, the prisoner punched Paul in the face, breaking his glasses in the process, and attempted to punch him a second time," the campaign group said in a statement today.

"Paul stood up to block the second blow and other inmates intervened to prevent the inmate from continuing to attack Paul."

The group said Whelan saw the attack as "minor", but feared it could happen "at any time" and potentially escalate into something "much more serious".

"Paul is a target because he is an American and anti-American sentiment is not uncommon among other prisoners," Free Paul Whelan said.

Mr Whelan said he believed the prison administration was taking the attack seriously, although it was too early to tell if any steps would be taken to ensure his safety, the group added.