As American basketball player Brittney Griner remains imprisoned in Russia for the past eight months. Check out her release status.
Brittney Griner : Released today | Status | Birthday
Brittney Griner doubts whether or not she will ever be allowed to return home to the US as the 6-foot-9 WNBA star spends the vast majority of her days inside of tiny cell with two other prisoners.
U.S. citizen Griner, 31, a two-time Olympic basketball gold medalist, was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on Aug. 4 after pleading guilty to drug charges.
She insisted she inadvertently broke the law when she traveled with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. Griner is scheduled to appeal her sentence on October 25.
Now her lawyer, Alexandr D. Boykov said in an interview with the New York Times that his client is struggling in prison.
Her cellmates at Correctional Colony No.1 or IK-1, a pre-trial detention center, are both English speakers who are also in jail on drug charges. Prison rules dictate that inmates are only allowed to shower twice a week. It is located around an hour from Moscow.
Brittney Griner released today
Dawn Staley has offered support for Brittney Griner “every single day” since the WNBA superstar was wrongfully detained in Russia.
Every single day, the South Carolina Gamecocks coach tweets out a message with the number of days the 6-foot-9 center has spent imprisoned overseas, advocating for Griner’s safe and swift return to the United States.
And even though “people come on and comment” negative sentiments “every single day,” Staley has every intention of continuing to speak out on Griner’s behalf.
“People just talk about it like it’s a thing, but it’s a human being, an American that’s over there that’s deemed wrongly detained,” Staley told Insider before she was awarded the Women’s Sports Foundation’s prestigious Billie Jean King Leadership Award. “We need to be doing everything in our powers.
“I know there’s a lot of opposition, there’s a lot of forces that are unforeseen: the war, all of that,” she added. “I hope we just don’t lose sight of the people that are over there — and not just BG.”
As, Brittney Griner released today, she spent each of the past eight years traveling to Russia to compete for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season. But in February of this year, as she headed overseas to rejoin her team, Griner was stopped and arrested at a Moscow airport after customs agents found hashish oil in her luggage.
WNBA star Brittney Griner’s release from prison in Russia is not a priority for the Kremlin, an aide to Russian leader Vladimir Putin said Sunday.
The big picture: President Biden and U.S. officials have pushed for the release of Griner, whom a Russian court convicted on drug charges in August. U.S. officials maintain she’s been wrongfully detained.
Griner’s lawyer told the New York Times last Wednesday they’re afraid she’ll be forced to serve her entire nine-year prison sentence over the charges, which relate to authorities finding vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage.
“In this tense situation, I think that he is thinking first and foremost about the upcoming midterm elections,” said Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov of Biden on Russian TV, according to state news agency TASS.
“So he keeps emphasizing the need to bring back home the basketball player who was detained for drug smuggling. However, it’s not the main issue that we are concerned about.”
Brittney Griner Birthday
Eight months on from her detainment in Moscow, Brittney Griner is celebrating her 32nd birthday in a Russian jail instead of with her family.
The American basketball star released a message on Tuesday, saying she had been buoyed by the support she has received, according to a statement shared by Maria Blagovolina, a partner at Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners law firm.
“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me,” Griner said in her message, according to the statement.
Griner’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, spent a few hours with Griner on Tuesday and relayed numerous birthday wishes to her, the statement said.
The basketball player’s wife Cherelle Griner and others close to the basketball player have launched the #WeAreBG campaign to put pressure on the US governement and other parties to bring her home.
Also in a video released as part of the campaign Cherelle said, “I’ve felt every moment of the grueling seven months without her.”
She thanked those who have supported the cause as well as specifically mentioning Joe Biden saying, “I want to thank President Biden for the Administration’s efforts to secure her release.”