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Texas mother, lawmakers pressure Russia to release former marine

Texas' congressional delegation unveils a new resolution, demanding Russia release a former marine sentenced to nearly a decade of hard labor.
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 9:16 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - He’s a convict in Russia, but the United States calls the Texan an innocent, political prisoner.

The mother of a former Marine and Eagle Scout Trevor Reed cries out for justice from the nation’s capitol, hoping to be heard in Moscow where her son is held captive.

“396 days has been a nightmare for my family, it’s taken a toll on us emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially,” said Paul Reed as she addressed the media.

Trevor is serving a nine-year sentence in a Russian labor camp.

More than a year ago, Russian police arrested him after a night of heavy drinking, and this  summer a court convicted him of assaulting the arresting officers en route to jail.

The U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation and Reed’s family describe the trial as an evidence-free sham.

“He is an innocent man,” said Paul Reed, “I pray for him to come home every night.”

Texas' U.S. Congressional Delegation unveiled a new resolution Wednesday calling on the Russians to release Reed.

“The fact that he’s being held simply because he’s a U.S. Marine, and an embassy marine at that, is a tragedy of justice that should not prevail,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas).

“And, we will stand with [Reed’s family] in the Congress every day until we can finally bring Trevor home,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

Russia’s embassy did not grant our interview request. They directed us to remarks from a briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in Moscow, on September 3, 2020. The remarks do not address questions about the evidence against Reed, and read in part:

“Trevor Reed was found guilty… .in the United States… such offences are punishable by much longer imprisonment terms… It would be good if the US newspaper articles about Trevor Reed mentioned this fact too.”

Full remarks of Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

We asked Reed’s mother if she’s concerned political pressure will make Russia less likely to back down. “I am concerned about that,” she said, “we kind of weighed the pros and cons of when we should make a statement.”

But, she said with Congress taking action, the timing felt right.

The congressmen said they have brought Reed’s case to the attention of President Trump.

In an interview, Prof. M. Tia Johnson, director of the National Security Law LL.M Program at Georgetown Law, reflected on the Trevor Reed case.

Reed still has the right to appeal his conviction.

Copyright 2020 Gray DC. All rights reserved.

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