News out of Russia indicates that WNBA star and American Brittney Griner has been moved to a Russian penal colony. Her exact whereabouts are currently unknown by even her Russian legal team. The transfer began Friday and according to her attorneys, the transfer process can take weeks or even months. Negotiations have been difficult and the United States did not know that she had been moved until Tuesday. Griner’s appeal was denied in a Russian Court on October 25th. Unless something changes she will spend nearly a decade in a Russian penal colony that has considerably harsher conditions than the jail she’s been in during her detainment so far.
We strongly protest the movement of Brittney Griner to a remote penal colony and the Russian government’s use of wrongful detentions. I am committed to bringing home Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan as soon as possible.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) November 9, 2022
In a statement to the press about the news, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the following: “Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long. As the Administration continues to work tirelessly to secure her release, the President has directed the Administration to prevail on her Russian captors to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony.” The WNBA, NBA, and other sports communities have continued to decry her detainment by the Russian Government.
The Women’s National Basketball Players Association’s Statement Regarding Brittney Griner’s Transfer to Russian Penal Colony. pic.twitter.com/mQg0kJ57I3
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) November 9, 2022
The United States Government has expressed its displeasure at the lack of the Russian Government’s desire to negotiate in good faith. They have continued to follow up ad attempt to bring Brittney Griner home. Finally, in a statement, her lawyers had the following to say: “Neither Brittney’s family, including her wife Cherelle, or her Russian legal team will have any further statements or press availability at this time.”