9 Nov 2021 11:11

Convicted U.S. citizen Reed goes on hunger strike in Russian penal colony

MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Trevor Reed, a student from Texas who was sentenced by a Russian court to nine years in a penal colony for attacking police officers in Moscow in the summer of 2019, has gone on hunger strike in the penitentiary.

"Trevor Reed went on hunger strike on November 4, 2021, in protest over being repeatedly placed in a punitive isolation ward, a practice which Reed sees as illegal, and other serious violations of his rights in the penal colony," the U.S. citizen's lawyers, Sergei Nikitenkov and Viktoria Buklova, told Interfax. Reed is serving his sentence in a penal colony in Russia's internal republic of Mordovia.

On July 30, 2020, the Golovinsky District Court of Moscow sentenced Reed to nine years in a general security penal colony on charges of using violence against law enforcement officers. The court also ordered that Reed pay 100,000 rubles in moral damages to the two aggrieved police officers.

The Moscow City Court upheld Reed's sentence on July 28.

According to the court filings, the police received a report saying that a man was arguing aggressively with two women near 106 Leningradskoye Highway in Moscow on August 16, 2019. Police officers arrived at the scene and tried to calm the man down, but he began behaving aggressively and resisted them.

The officers had to force the man into a police car and then took him to the Levoberezhny police station. On the way there, Reed assaulted the driver, tore his uniform, hit his colleague, and provoked a dangerous traffic situation.

Once at the police station, the man was identified as Trevor Reed, a 28-year-old student born in Texas in the United States, who was living temporarily in an apartment on Otkrytoye Highway in Moscow. A court ordered his arrest the next day.

When speaking in court, Reed did not admit any wrongdoing and claimed that he did not remember the incident, as he was drunk at the time.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Moscow and Washington were discussing the Reed case on the highest level and noted the need for his release from custody. An informed source told Interfax that Reed's transfer to the penitentiary would have no effect on his possible exchange.