The case has struck some comparisons to WNBA star Brittney Griner’s case. But, Marc Fogel’s family said he isn’t getting the same treatment from diplomats.
The last moment of freedom for Fogel was caught on surveillance video at a Russian airport. He was heading back to Moscow last August for his 10th year of teaching the children of U.S. diplomats.
Airport personnel went through Fogel’s bags just minutes before he was detained for carrying cannabis into the country.
Fogel’s sister, Anne Fogel, said no one in his family has heard his voice since. His family has only gotten letters written in Russian.
“He says what he wants in English, someone translates for him, one of his cellmates, and depending on how good their English is is how accurate of a picture we get of what is happening,” Anne Fogel said. “It’s very convoluted and it’s incredibly worrisome because we can’t really have an honest conversation. Everything goes through the censors. It’s harrowing.”
Marc Fogel was convicted of smuggling drugs into Russia and sentenced to 14 years in prison in a high-security penal colony last month.