The American basketball star Brittney Griner was transferred to a Russian penal colony this week, a transfer that has left her household and authorized staff at nighttime over her standing and whereabouts.
The New York Times reported that Griner’s legal professionals “mentioned in a press release [on Wednesday] that her vacation spot was unknown and that they anticipated to be notified by official mail, together with the U.S. Embassy, as soon as she has arrived, a course of that may take as much as two weeks.”
Griner, 32, has been detained in Russia since February, when she was arrested at a Moscow airport on drug fees. Safety officers discovered hashish oil in her baggage, which Griner later mentioned was an accident.
Her switch to a Russian penal colony marks one other darkish growth for Griner, a star for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and broadly thought to be one of many biggest ladies’s basketball gamers ever.
According to the Times, penal colonies “are infamous for abusive therapy of inmates, overcrowding and harsh circumstances.”
“Some prisoners are tortured, or overwhelmed by fellow inmates. Some should work 16-hour days. Just a few are compelled to observe Russian propaganda on repeat,” the Instances reported. “That is the world of the Russian penal colony, into which Brittney Griner is about to be inducted for a nine-year time period after her sentencing on drug smuggling fees was upheld final month.”
The switch additionally makes the already attempting circumstances much more troublesome for Griner’s family and friends again residence.
“Prisoners are usually not allowed to speak with the skin world for every week or two whereas they’re moved, and legal professionals and members of the family have no idea the place the inmates are going — studying which penal colony the sentence will likely be served in solely as soon as the prisoner arrives,” the Times said.
Griner’s ongoing detention, coming at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and Russia, has changed into a diplomatic standoff.
The U.S. has sought a prisoner swap with Russia, which might safe the discharge of Griner and Paul Whelan, an American citizen who has been detained in Russia on espionage fees since 2018.
In alternate, the U.S. would launch Viktor Bout, a Russian arms supplier at present serving a 25-year jail sentence in the USA.
Russia has, so far, resisted the provide.
U.S. embassy officers in Moscow met with Griner final week for the primary time since she was detained.
“We’re advised she is doing in addition to will be anticipated underneath the circumstances,” the White Home press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned final week following the assembly, as quoted by The New York Times.
“As we now have mentioned earlier than, the U.S. authorities made a major provide to the Russians to resolve the present unacceptable and wrongful detentions of Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan,” Jean-Pierre added, as quoted by the Times. “I may also let you know that within the subsequent weeks, regardless of an absence of fine religion negotiation by the Russians, the U.S. authorities has continued to comply with up on that supply and suggest different potential methods ahead with Russians by all out there channels.
President Joe Biden mentioned in a information convention on Wednesday that, with the midterm elections in the USA now accomplished, he’s hopeful that Russian President Vladmir Putin will return to the negotiating desk.
“My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will have the ability to talk about with us and be prepared to speak extra significantly a couple of prisoner alternate,” Biden mentioned, as quoted by ESPN.