Paul Whelan, a former American Marine who has been detained in Russia since 2018 on espionage charges, is calling on the Biden administration to take immediate and forceful action to secure his release. Whelan, who has spent over 2,000 days behind bars, is pleading for the U.S. government to increase pressure on Moscow to bring an end to his unjust imprisonment, as reported by CNN.

“There should be decisive action taken,” Whelan told CNN. “The US needs to go out and do something – fill up Guantanamo Bay with Russian officials, arrest Russian spies, do something that makes the Kremlin sit up and take notice and say, ‘Okay, yeah, right, now it’s time that we’re gonna get Evan and Paul back and then we want back what you’ve got of ours, and we’ll call it a day.”

“Until decisive action is taken, until there’s a strong response to this sort of behavior, they’ll keep grabbing people like Trevor (Reed) and Brittney (Griner) and Evan and others,” he told CNN.

Whelan made mention of Evan Gershkovich, a journalist from the Wall Street Journal who was detained in March 2023 on espionage allegations. Just like Whelan, the U.S. government has dismissed Gershkovich’s charges as baseless. Whelan also brought up Brittney Griner, a professional basketball player in the WNBA who was held captive in Russia and freed in 2022, as well as Trevor Reed, who was apprehended in 2019 and later released in a prisoner exchange agreement along with Griner.

“People here don’t say that they’re going to trial. They don’t say they’re going to seek justice. They say they’re going to get a sentence, they’re going to be sentenced. And that’s it. There is no criminal justice system here,” Whelan told CNN. “There is no judicial system. It’s just a system that the government has operated for many years, putting people in prison for all sorts of dubious charges and dubious events. And in my case, that’s 100% true, and I’m sure in Evan’s case, it’s 100% true. But people go to trial here and they’re automatically guilty, and then they’re given a sentence, and that’s it.”

Whelan had previously voiced his disapproval of the Biden administration’s inaction in securing his release. In an interview with WTOP News in December, he mentioned that President Joe Biden had assured him of his return and expressed his disappointment in the unsuccessful diplomatic attempts. Unlike Gershkovich, Griner, and Reed who were also arrested, Whelan has endured the lengthiest incarceration in Russia with no immediate hopes of being released.

The State Department said recently that freeing Whelan is “something that we are constantly working on and constantly pursuing. We put a substantial offer on the table to secure the release of Evan and Paul Whelan some months ago, as we said publicly; we’re continuing to work to secure their release,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters last week. “We don’t talk about the details of that publicly, as has always been the case, but it is one of the Secretary and the President’s highest priorities.”