Hunger-striking ex-US Marine sent to prison hospital in Russia

Prison authorities say Trevor Reed ended the hunger strike he started last month and his health is ‘satisfactory’.

Joe Reed, the father of former US Marine Trevor Reed, stands next to a placard of his son outside the US Capitol in Washington
Trevor Reed's father stands next to a placard of his son outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC [File: Jim Watson/AFP]

Trevor Reed, a former US Marine jailed in Russia, has been transferred to the prison’s medical facility after beginning a hunger strike last month, according to his lawyers.

The 30-year-old Texan is serving a nine-year jail term after being convicted of endangering the lives of two police officers while drunk on a visit to Moscow in 2019. He denied the charges and the United States called his trial a “theatre of the absurd”.

“Trevor Reed has been transferred to the prison colony’s medical facility,” his lawyers Sergei Nikitenkov and Viktoria Buklova told Interfax news agency on Monday. “He lost weight during his hunger strike.”

Later on Monday, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service was quoted saying by the Interfax and RIA news agencies that Reed ended his hunger strike and began to receive food on Friday.

“On the same day, at his request, he was sent to the medical facility,” it said, adding that Reed’s health was “satisfactory”.

Reed’s lawyers said he had ended the hunger strike after being seen by doctors, and that he required medical treatment, Interfax reported.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said Reed was “wrongfully detained” and called for his release on Monday.

“We are concerned by reports that Trevor Reed’s health is deteriorating,” Price told reporters. “We continue to call on Russian officials to provide adequate medical care immediately or otherwise to release him to the United States to receive the care that he needs.”

Tuberculosis fear

Reed’s parents said last week that Reed had declared a hunger strike to protest being put in solitary confinement and not receiving proper medical care despite fears that he has tuberculosis.

They said Reed had been exposed to an inmate with active tuberculosis in December last year, but that their son had not been tested for the illness despite a rapid deterioration of his health.

Russia’s state prison service confirmed that Reed had declared a hunger strike on March 28 to protest disciplinary action against him, but said that he had repeatedly tested negative for tuberculosis.

The Federal Penitentiary Service has said Reed had not come into contact with anyone suffering from tuberculosis and that his condition was being closely monitored.

Reed also staged a hunger strike last year to protest his incarceration and alleged rights abuses before calling it off almost a week later.

Joey and Paula Reed, parents of U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Russian prisoner Trevor Reed, stand in Lafayette Park near the White House
Paula and Joey Reed, parents of Trevor Reed, stand near the White House in Washington, DC [File: Patrick Semansky/AP]
Source: News Agencies