A former US Marine has gone on hunger strike in a Russian prison.
Trevor Reed, 30, has been on strike since November 4, to protest against the conditions of the prison.
He is hoping that this will force President Joe Biden to reopen negotiations over his release, after the first attempt failed.
Mr Reed, of Texas, has been imprisoned for more than two years for allegedly assaulting two Russian police officers while he was drunk at a party in 2019.
He was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020.
But his family has claimed Mr Reed is innocent, and that the charges were “fabricated in order to use him a a political bargaining chip”.
His lawyer told ABC News that he is protesting “his arbitrary detention and Russian authorities’ numerous and flagrant violations of his basic human rights and his rights under Russian law”.
The family has also said that he has been in solitary confinement for three months and has not been able to contact them for “four months”.
His prison is actually a labour camp in Russia’s Mordovia region, where it is claimed he is confined to a “tiny cell that does not even include a toilet”.
A family spokesman said: “While we are immensely proud of our son’s strength of character, we are also extremely worried about his health.
“Our concern is magnified by Russian authorities’ decision to hold Trevor incommunicado which makes it impossible for us or the Embassy to monitor his health.
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The family has proposed the a prisoner swap, with two prisoners who Russia wanted freed for more than a decade – arms trader Viktor Bout and pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko.
The spokesman continued: “This ordeal has gone on 815 days with no end in sight and we have been patient.
“Trevor’s job in the Marines was to take a bullet for President Biden and his family.
“We hope that when we return to Washington next month that both the President we voted for, and his national Security Advisor will find the time to see us.”
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