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Blinken calls for release of Gershkovich, Michigan native Whelan

Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Wikimedia Commons
Secretary of State Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is calling on Russia to immediately release Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Michigan native Paul Whelan both held on separate charges of espionage.

Whelan’s family say they’ve begun to worry whether the US government is prioritizing his release.

Whelan is serving a 16 year sentence for allegedly possessing classified secret. US officials say he’s been wrongfully detained.

His twin, David Whelan, says charges against his brother and the Wall Street Journal reporter are similar.

But David Whelan notes US attempts to free the journalist, after having negotiated the recent release of two other high-profile Americans come while his brother remains behind bars, as he has for more than four years.

Whelan says, “Then it means the U-S government hasn’t really been successful at deterring these cases…and also doesn’t seem to have a good sense of the resources that they’re going to use to free Paul.”

State Department officials say Whelan’s release remains a, quote, “absolute priority.”

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