Parents Seek Freedom for Jimmy Wilgus–American Prisoner in Russia

NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Jim and Bella Wilgus today released a statement about the imprisonment and health status of their son, James “Jimmy” Vincent Wilgus, an American unjustly held in IK-17, a penal colony in Mordovia, Russia:

Statement by parents of James Wilgus, an American unjustly held in IK-17, a penal colony in Mordovia, Russia.

“Our son has suffered for more than six years in prison under abject conditions that have deteriorated his health and robbed him of his freedom. We call upon our government to secure his release.

“On November 7, 2016, a day before the U.S. Election, four men grabbed Jimmy off the sidewalk and forced him into a car. He was detained in a police station in Moscow. The police told him to sign a document, written in Russian, if he wanted to go home.

“After he signed the document, they placed him in a cell then later drove him home. He was soon detained again and has been imprisoned since that day. He later learned he unknowingly signed a confession to crimes he did not commit.

“Jimmy is the victim of a cruel Russian judicial system and inadequate prison healthcare. His health declines daily while waiting for inexpert Russian prison doctors to treat effects of a stroke, spinal pain, potential liver failure, hypertension and dizziness. Just this week, the U.S. Embassy issued a warning to U.S. citizens to depart Russia immediately ‘due to the risk of wrongful detentions.’ Time is not on Jimmy’s side.

“We have a justice system in America based on the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ Russia places the onus on the accused to prove innocence. As Americans, our government should aid us in our time of need no matter if we are a bold faced name or average citizen. Jimmy needs his government to help him now.

“We are grateful to Senator Robert Menendez for his recent assistance and pray his actions will bring our son home where he can get professional medical care. We plead with President Biden, Secretary Blinken and Ambassador Carstens to exert influence to expedite Jimmy’s release. Russia treats American prisoners like pieces on a game board, but Jimmy’s life isn’t a game.”

Free Jimmy Wilgus is an effort by family and friends who seek the release of Jimmy Wilgus from unjust Russian imprisonment. More information found at

Brad Bennett
BKB Strategies
[email protected]

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SOURCE Free Jimmy Wilgus

Parents Seek Freedom for Jimmy Wilgus--American Prisoner in Russia WeeklyReviewer

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