Former US Marine goes on hunger strike in Russian prison, family claims

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By Jonny Tickle

An ex-US Marine serving nine years in prison for assaulting two Moscow police officers while drunk has allegedly started a hunger strike to protest his incarceration, maintaining that he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Trevor Reed was sentenced in July, in a trial US Ambassador John Sullivan called “laughable.”

Reed’s girlfriend told ABC News he started his hunger strike on Thursday. His family later confirmed the news, saying Reed was protesting “his arbitrary detention and Russian authorities’ numerous and flagrant violations of his basic human rights and his rights under Russian law.”

“While we are immensely proud of our son’s strength of character, we are also extremely worried about his health,” a family statement reads.

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On Tuesday, contradicting the claims of Reed’s family, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service denied the American was on hunger strike, telling news agency TASS he was “taking meals according to schedule.”

Reed, who comes from Texas, is alleged to have attacked the officers while drunk after attending a party in Moscow in 2019. The incident is said to have happened while he was inside a police car on the way to a police station.

The former Marine is serving his time in Mordovia, around 500km (310 miles) southeast of the capital.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed he would be open to a prisoner swap with the US after it was suggested that Reed could be sent home. While not explicitly referring to the Marine in regards to an exchange, the president dubbed him “a troublemaker” who “got drunk on vodka and started a fight.”

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