The parents of a former Marine who has been jailed in Russia have begun a protest outside the White House to force President Joe Biden to honor a deal he made to hear their concerns in person.
Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years for assault on a police officer, which his family says is a trumped-up charge.
Earlier this month, the family wanted to meet with Biden when he visited their hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, to promote his achievements. Biden did not meet with them then, but the family said he promised a meeting would take place.
On Wednesday, Joey and Paula Reed were outside the White House with a sign that read “Free Trevor Reed” and “Prisoner of Russia Since 2019.”
“It was 22 days ago when the president said that he would have someone call us immediately when he got back to D.C. and set it up,” Paula Reed said.
“We want the meeting the President promised us.”
The parents of Trevor Reed, the US citizen who’s been detained in Russia since 2019, speak to @NewDay‘s @JohnBerman on their son’s current condition and why they’re protesting in front of the White House. pic.twitter.com/b8T5pi9YV0
— CNN (@CNN) March 30, 2022
“Well, the office staff have not called us. And we wanted to be here to bring attention to Trevor’s case and to let them know that we did not forget. We’re waiting for that phone call, and we want the meeting the president promised us,” she said.
The Reeds said they plan to stay outside the White House until Friday.
“If we need to stay longer, we might do that,” Paula Reed said, according to CNN.
“We want to meet with the President, and we want to talk to him about prisoner swaps because obviously … asking the Russians to release these hostages has not worked. It is not going to work with any superpower or nuclear power,” Joey Reed said.
“We hope the President will be able to find the time to see us. We need his administration to stop deliberating and start acting. We believe the President [whom we voted for] is the only person who can save our son’s life,” the family said in a statement, according to Newsweek.
“[W]e are working on a time for the president to meet with his family over the short term as well. I don’t have a time or date on that or anything like that, but that is something we are going to work toward,” she said, later adding, “The President is looking forward to doing that.”
On Wednesday, Joey Reed said his son’s health is “deteriorating.”
“We’re very concerned about his health,” Paula Reed said. “An active case of [tuberculosis] isn’t good, and the conditions in the prison are horrible, and the fact that they put him back in solitary confinement is really worrisome for us because we’re just worried about his health.”
“Trevor had some sort of injury where he thinks he might have a broken rib. Plus, he has all the symptoms of active tuberculosis. He went to a prison hospital for about 10 days. And then they didn’t treat him. They took an X-ray that didn’t work,” Joey Reed said, according to CNN.
“And when they brought him back to his prison he said, ‘I need to go back. I’m still hurt and sick.’ And they put him to solitary confinement again, where he had been for most of the last seven months. So he is protesting that. That’s against all Russian regulations and European human rights,” he said, explaining that his son was now on his second hunger strike since being jailed.
Reed was arrested in August 2019 after a fight at a party. Last May, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. In November, he underwent a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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