Pod Hostage Diplomacy

Trevor is free, Paul was left behind | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

May 04, 2022 SenseOfDuty Media Episode 35
Pod Hostage Diplomacy
Trevor is free, Paul was left behind | Pod Hostage Diplomacy
Show Notes Chapter Markers

One week ago on Wednesday 27th April, Trevor Reed – an innocent American citizen and former US Marine who had been wrongfully imprisoned in Russia for 985 days – was freed. Trevor was released in a prisoner swap deal between the United States and Russia. 

Trevor is now back home in the United States getting the medical attention he needs and surrounded by his loving family – his father, Joey – his mother, Paula – and his sister, Taylor. We have interviewed Trevor’s parents twice on Pod Hostage Diplomacy and we are very happy for them. We are also truly grateful for the efforts of President Biden, the US State Department, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens and his team, the Richardson Center as well as everyone else involved in securing Trevor’s release.

With all that being said – the US government should have done better. They left a man behind. They left fellow American and former US Marine, Paul Whelan behind. We have interviewed the Whelan family twice as well. Last Wednesday was a day of mixed-emotions for Paul Whelan and his family when they found out that Trevor was being released and Paul was being left behind.

On this episode, we are joined once again by Paul Whelan’s sister, Elizabeth Whelan. She tells us what Trevor’s release and Paul being left behind was like for her, for Paul and for the rest of the Whelan family. Elizabeth also talks to us about potentially changing her approach to campaigning, Brittney Griner and what President Biden, the State Department, journalists and the public can do to free Paul Whelan.

After our interview with Elizabeth, you’ll also hear voice messages from the loved ones of other Americans held hostage or wrongfully imprisoned overseas specifically Majd Kamalmaz held in Syria, Tomeu Vadell held in Venezuela, Kai Li held in China, Paul Rusesabagina held in Rwanda and Jamshid Sharmahd held in Iran. They tell us their thoughts on Trevor’s release and talk about what President Biden now needs to do to bring their loved ones home too.

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Intro
Trevor Reed’s release
What last Wednesday was like for the Whelan family
Paul Whelan’s response to Trevor’s release
Deteriorating health reason for freeing Trevor
Do families have to be the loudest voice in the room?
Potential prisoner swap for Paul Whelan
Brittney Griner
House resolution passed calling for Paul’s release
What must President Biden do to bring Paul Whelan home?
What should the US State Department be doing better?
Richardson Center
Lack of funding in Levinson Act
What can journalists do to help?
What can the public do to help?
Thank you to the hostage community for reaching out to Elizabeth
Messages from families of other American hostages/wrongful detainees