“We have received a report from an attorney that Trevor has begun a hunger strike to protest his arbitrary detention and Russian authorities’ numerous and flagrant violations of his basic human rights and his rights under Russian law,” Reed’s dad and mom, Joey and Paula, and sister Taylor stated in a press release Monday.
“While we are immensely proud of our son’s strength of character, we are also extremely worried about his health,” they stated.
The Reed family stated their concern is “magnified by Russian authorities’ decision to hold Trevor incommunicado,” making it “impossible” for them or the US Embassy to monitor his well being.
Reed, who’s a former US Marine, began his hunger strike on Thursday, Paula Reed instructed CNN.
“The information circulated in the media about a hunger strike by convict Trevor Reed is untrue. He did not declare a hunger strike to the administration of the facility, and he has been taking meals according to schedule,” Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service of Republic of Mordovia, the place Reed is incarcerated, instructed Tass.
Asked concerning the denial, Joey Reed instructed CNN, “This is the latest chapter in the book full of lies by the Russians.”
“They’ve lied to us about so many other things, so we don’t really believe that what they’re saying is true,” Paula Reed added.
“Russian authorities are holding Trevor in a small room with a hole in the floor for a toilet. They will not allow him to communicate in his own language, to receive books or letters, to receive commissary items like other prisoners do, nor will they allow him to use a phone. Prison officials have not only refused to provide him the items they explicitly agreed to accept from Ambassador (John) Sullivan last month, they are also taunting him about it,” the Reed family stated in their assertion Monday.
“We are asking for prayers for Trevor and for our family during this time and urge the White House to find the political will to bring our son home,” they stated.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated Monday he had seen reviews that Reed had began a hunger strike however couldn’t remark on them due to privateness concerns.
“We are continuing to seek contact with Trevor as we monitor his case closely,” Price stated at a division briefing.
The US chargé d’affaires in Moscow, Bart Gorman, tweeted Tuesday, “We are aware of reports that #TrevorReed is on a hunger strike. We remain very concerned about his treatment & are monitoring closely. We urge the Russian government to do the right thing and return him to his family. We won’t stop advocating for Trevor @mfa_russia.”
CNN’s Zahra Ullah contributed to this report.