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Michigan native imprisoned in Russia on spying charges released from solitary confinement

Public Domain
U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia

A Michigan man imprisoned in Russia on spying charges has been released from solitary confinement – according to his brother.

Paul Whelan spent weeks in isolation and wasn’t allowed to speak with his lawyer.

David Whelan told CNN Sunday, that his brother was able to talk to his family after being released on either Thursday or Friday of last week.

Paul Whelan is being held in a region known for Russia's toughest prisons, including Soviet-era labor camps for political prisoners.

In 2020, Russian authorities sentenced Whelan to 16 years in prison on espionage charges claiming he possessed a flash drive containing classified information. Whelan said he thought they were vacation photos.

The Oakland County native is a former corporate security executive and served in the Marine Corps Reserves.

Lauren Talley is Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition producer. She produces and edits studio interviews and feature stories, and helps manage the “Mornings in Michigan” series. Lauren also serves as the lead substitute host for Morning Edition.
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