Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed has gone on hunger strike in a remote Russian prison, ABC News reported Tuesday, citing his family.
A Russian court last year sentenced Reed, 30, to nine years behind bars on charges of assaulting a Moscow police officer while drunk in 2019. The U.S. government and Reed deny the charges and have questioned the trial’s fairness.
Reed began his hunger strike last Thursday, ABC News cited his Russian girlfriend as saying.
Reed’s family confirmed the news, saying he was protesting “his arbitrary detention and Russian authorities' numerous and flagrant violations of his basic human rights and his rights under Russian law.”
Reed has reportedly been in solitary confinement for almost three months and unable to contact his family for nearly four months.
“While we are immensely proud of our son's strength of character, we are also extremely worried about his health,” Reed’s parents and sister said.
“Our concern is magnified by Russian authorities' decision to hold Trevor incommunicado which makes it impossible for us or the Embassy to monitor his health,” they added.
Reed’s family urged the Biden administration to “find the political will to bring our son home” and exchange him for one of the high-profile Russian nationals held in U.S. jails.
The U.S. State Department declined to comment on Reed’s hunger strike, saying only that it was aware of the reports, ABC News reported.
U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan will attempt to visit Reed in the remote republic of Mordovia for the second time in November, the State Department added.