Trevor Reed, the former Marine released from a Russian prison in April after more than two years, filed a petition to the United Nations (UN) on Monday to issue a statement acknowledging that he was wrongly imprisoned and asking Russia to pay him reparations, according to a letter by his representative.
The petition requests that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issue a “Formal Opinion” stating that Reed’s imprisonment was “arbitrary and unlawful and contrary to fundamental principles of international law” and declaring that Russia is obligated to compensate Reed for these violations.
Reed was arrested by Russian officials in late 2019 and put on trial, where police surveillance tapes that allegedly absolved Reed of wrongdoing were unable to be shown after being erased without explanation.
“The Russian government then placed Trevor in a Soviet-era gulag, subjecting him to horrific living conditions, solitary confinement, malnutrition, and physical abuse, such that he began coughing up blood on a near daily basis,” wrote Reed spokesman Jonathan Franks.
Reed was freed this year when the Biden administration orchestrated a prisoner exchange between Reed and a Russian citizen convicted in the US of drug trafficking.
The UN’s Working Group regularly issues opinions condemning wrongful imprisonments after the release of the former prisoner in addition to investigating instances of arbitrary detention.