Trevor Reed Goes on Hunger Strike in Russian Jail

Photo credit: Reuters

Former US Marine Trevor Reed, who’s serving a nine-year jail term after being detained, accused, and convicted of endangering the lives of two policemen while drunk in Moscow in 2019, has begun a hunger strike, his parents said on Wednesday.

The United States called his trial a theatre of the absurd after the 30-year-old Texan denied the charges, but to no avail.

Reed has begun the hunger strike in the jail in the Russian region of Mordovia to protest not receiving proper medical care despite fears he has tuberculosis and for being put in solitary confinement.

According to his parents, Reed was exposed to an inmate with active tuberculosis in December but despite his health rapidly deteriorating later, he had not been tested for the illness.

Although Reed spent 10 days in a prison hospital until last week, he received no meaningful medical care there beyond an X-ray – which was also taken incorrectly.

Trevor’s Mordovian lawyer, who was allowed to see his client on Tuesday, confirmed that Trevor began a hunger strike to protest being sent back to solitary while having TB after he asked the authorities at the IK-12 gulag to return to the hospital.

Reed resorted to a hunger strike last year to protest his incarceration and alleged rights abuses, which Russia’s prison authority adamantly denied, but it only lasted for a week since he lost a lot of weight.

Amid the strained US-Russia relations, which went for the worse after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US Ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, demanded Moscow to follow international law and basic human decency to allow consular access to all US citizen detainees in Russia, including Reed.

Previously in June 2021, the US Embassy in Moscow has issued a diplomatic note to the Russian Foreign Ministry in protest of the lack of access to Reed, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the time and denied consular access for over two weeks.

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