In a statement dated November 9, Reed said he stopped eating food on November 3 at 6 p.m. and officially refused food provided by the prison on the morning of November 4.
Reed said he resumed eating the morning of November 9, drinking only water between that time, in a separate correspondence dated Monday.
Reed, a 30-year-old former US Marine who was sentenced last year to prison by a Moscow court, went on hunger strike to protest his detainment in Russia and the “numerous and flagrant violations” of his human rights by Russian authorities. He has been held at a penal colony in Mordovia.
In response to questions written to him by his parents, Reed also said that he is sick with a cough, headaches, congestion, mucus in his lungs and back pain, and that the only medical treatment he has received is vitamins from a medic.
Russian prison authorities had denied that Reed was on hunger strike, according to a statement published by Russian state-run news agency Tass, but Reed wrote that his roommate could confirm the hunger strike.
The head of the prison and staff were aware of Reed’s hunger strike, asking him on video if he wanted food, and two prosecutors had come to see Reed about the hunger strike, according to information provided by a lawyer for Reed.
Asked if he was being held in solitary again, Reed wrote in an answer dated Monday that he would be returning that day.
Reed’s statement and answers to the questions from his parents, Paula and Joey, were released Tuesday by his family.
“I feel in doing this hunger strike is just indicative of how desperate he is. He’s trying to bring attention to his case, to ask the government to bring him home. And I think he just felt like he didn’t have any other option at this point,” his mother Paula told CNN’s Brianna Keilar in an interview last week.
Reed was sentenced to nine years
in prison in July 2020 for endangering the “life and health” of Russian police officers in an altercation. Reed and his family have denied the charges against him.