video of jailed US citizen Paul Whelan is ‘reassuring’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday said it was reassuring to see video footage of U.S. citizen Paul Whelan, a former marine jailed in Russia over what the U.S. calls bogus espionage charges, and called on Moscow to release him immediately.

Arrested in 2018 in Russia, Whelan was convicted of spying charges in 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in a penal colony in Mordovia, a Russian region notorious since Soviet times for its penal colonies. He has denied the accusations.

“It was reassuring to see that he remains, and this is to use his brother’s words, ‘unbowed.’ Paul continues to show tremendous courage,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “Russia should release him immediately.”

(Reporting by Nandita Bose, writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese)

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