Ex-U.S. Marine Trevor Reed says he ends hunger strike in Russian jail

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A former U.S. Marine serving a nine-year jail sentence in Russia said he had ended a hunger strike after nearly a week, having suffered health complications, according to a message shared by his family. 

Trevor Reed, a university student from Texas, was convicted last year of endangering the lives of two policemen in Moscow while drunk on a visit in 2019. He denies the charges and the United States called his trial a "theatre of the absurd". 

His family said last week he had begun a hunger strike to protest against his incarceration and alleged violations of his rights. The prison service denied he was refusing food or that his rights were being abused. 

In Nov. 15 comments shared by his family late on Tuesday, Reed said he ended the strike on the morning of Nov. 9, having refused food and drunk only water since the evening of Nov. 3. 

"They (prison staff) were ALL aware of my hunger strike. They asked me on video every day if I wanted food and I refused. They did not weigh me or give me a medical inspection," he said. 

The prison service did not immediately reply to a request to comment. 

Reed said he had a cough, headache, congestion, mucus in his lungs and back pain, and that a doctor had given him vitamins. 

He said he was due to be moved from his cell to a punishment cell on Monday, but did not say why. 

A family spokesman said: "Trevor's new complaints about his health are alarming and it's quite clear Russian authorities aren't taking them seriously. The Reeds continue to urge the (U.S.) Administration to make a deal to bring their son home." 

Reed and Paul Whelan, an American who was jailed in Russia on spying charges he denied, have been touted as possible candidates for a prisoner swap between Moscow and Washington. 

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