WNBA star Brittney Griner is being transferred to a Russian penal colony after being convicted in August of possessing and smuggling medication, her authorized staff said on Wednesday, bleak information for the athlete as relations between Moscow and Washington bitter and U.S. officers wrestle to safe her launch.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is “on her approach to a penal colony,” her authorized staff said in a statement to news retailers on Wednesday.
The athlete was transferred from a detention middle exterior Moscow final week and her authorized staff stated they have no idea Griner’s exact location or her last vacation spot.
It’s normal Russian process for attorneys and the U.S. embassy to be notified upon her arrival, they stated, although this notification is given by way of official mail and may take as much as two weeks to reach.
Griner is being moved to serve the rest of the nine-year sentence handed to her in August after she was convicted on drug possession and smuggling fees for carrying a small quantity of hashish oil in vape cartridges, which she stated was an trustworthy mistake however pleaded responsible to.
A Russian courtroom rejected Griner’s attraction for a shorter sentence in October.
What To Watch For
Russia’s jail system has a status as one of the vital brutal on this planet and Griner possible faces very powerful circumstances upon her arrival. The camps are sometimes remoted, overcrowded and unsanitary facilities notorious for his or her reportedly poor therapy of prisoners, a lot of whom are compelled to carry out grueling labor. Studies of bodily and sexual abuse from each guards, meals shortages and difficulties accessing healthcare should not unusual. A lot of different elements serve to complicate what Griner—a Black homosexual lady from the U.S. with presumably little or no Russian language—will face, and she or he could face tougher labor owing to her athleticism and stature, based on a CNN supply who had frolicked in a jail camp.
What We Don’t Know
Although Griner lost an attraction towards her nine-year sentence, there are nonetheless avenues for her launch. Her case and harsh punishment has sparked outrage within the U.S. Washington has said the federal government considers Griner to be “wrongfully detained” in Russia and is actively working to safe her launch, although souring relations with Moscow over the battle in Ukraine have sophisticated issues significantly. It’s doable Griner may very well be launched as a part of a prisoner swap with Russia, although talks have but to yield outcomes and a Putin aide has beforehand stated the matter is not a priority for Moscow.
The White Home reiterated its condemnation of Griner’s imprisonment on Wednesday morning following the information of her switch. “Each minute that Brittney Griner should endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too lengthy,” said White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, including that the “U.S. Authorities is unwavering in its dedication to its work on behalf of Brittney and different Individuals detained in Russia.” The Biden Administration is working “tirelessly to safe her launch” and is pushing Moscow to enhance her therapy and the circumstances she “could also be compelled to endure in a penal colony,” Jean-Pierre stated.
Griner faces difficult conditions at Russian penal colony, former prisoners and advocates say (NBC Information)
How Russia’s new Gulag tries to break convicts like Alexei Navalny (Reuters)