Stabenow, Peters Resolution Calling for Immediate Release of Michigander Paul Whelan from Russian Authorities Unanimously Passes Senate

Friday, July 23, 2021

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Gary Peters (MI) announced their bipartisan resolution calling for the immediate release of Michigander Paul Whelan from authorities under the Russian government passed in the U.S. Senate unanimously. The resolution calls on the Government of the Russian Federation present credible evidence or immediately release him from prison. A companion resolution was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11) and Representative Tim Walberg (MI-07).


“Paul Whelan needs to come home. Paul has spent more than 900 days languishing a Russian prison without any credible evidence presented against him. He is being denied due process and consular access. I’m glad the Senate came together to call on the Russian government to release Paul. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration, my colleagues and Paul’s family to end his unjust imprisonment and bring him home,” said Senator Stabenow.


“It’s unacceptable that Russian authorities have failed to present credible evidence, held a sham trial with no due process and continue to keep Michigander Paul Whelan imprisoned,” said Senator Peters. “Russian authorities need to stop with their political games. It’s long past time that Paul return home, and this resolution we led that passed shows the unified commitment in the Senate to continue pressing for his release. I will continue working with Paul’s family, my colleagues and the Biden Administration.”


“From the day that Senator Gary Peters met with me early in January 2019, to discuss our grave concern over my brother Paul Whelan’s recent and wrongful detention at the hands of Russia's security forces (FSB), Senator Peters and his team have been stalwart in their support for Paul and the Whelan family,” said Elizabeth Whelan, sister of Paul Whelan. “Along with Senator Debbie Stabenow, they have stood up time and time again for this Novi, Michigan, resident who has been held by the Russians on false charges with no evidence for over two and a half years. We are very appreciative of Senator Peters’ lead and firm stance on this resolution which points out clearly this political hostage-taking and lack of evidence on the part of the Russian Federation, and calls for Paul's immediate release. We are also extremely grateful for the co-sponsorship from Senators Stabenow, Booker, and Cornyn, and their compassion and understanding of the gravity of this issue. Our brother is currently being held in solitary confinement in the Mordovian prison camp where he is serving an unjust 16-year sentence. If we could communicate with him, we would be so pleased to tell him of his support in the US Senate and the passage of this resolution.”


Stabenow and Peters have been continuously pressing for Whelan’s release since he was detained in Russian two-and-a-half years and will continue to work with his family and the U.S. Department of State to secure his safe return to Michigan.