American Paul Whelan, who was convicted in Russia on espionage charges, in a telephone conversation with his family complained about the conditions of detention in a Russian penal colony.

Whelan said the temperature in the barracks where he is being held does not exceed 5 degrees Celsius, and the workshop where prisoners sew clothes is even colder. In addition, the administration of the colony still does not let Whelan sleep and wakes him up every 2 hours at night.

All this information was conveyed by the brother of the convict, David Whelan. Paul’s brother David Whelan believes that the freedom of all Americans should be the main concern of any US president.

As his family step-up their appeals to bring him home, officials in Moscow are already hinting at a possible prisoner swap adding to suspicions that the man from Michigan is a pawn in a political game that has yet to play out.