WNBA star Brittney Griner transferred to Russian forced labor camp
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been moved to a Russian forced labor camp, months after the basketball player was arrested in Russia for allegedly possessing cannabis oil.
The development is the latest update after Griner’s appeal of her 9-year sentence was denied by a Russian court last month. The White House released a statement early Wednesday morning condemning the move.
“Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in the statement.
“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 statement continued.
“The U.S. Government is unwavering in its commitment to its work on behalf of Brittney and other Americans detained in Russia – including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan,” Jean-Pierre concluded.
Griner will face harsh conditions in the forced labor camp, and it will be difficult for her family to contact her or even know her exact location.
Griner was visiting Russia to compete in the WBNA offseason in February when Russian authorities found cannabis oil in her luggage. She was promptly arrested for possessing the vape cartridges and was later sentenced to nine years in prison.
On Griner’s 32nd birthday last month, her representatives released a statement thanking her supporters.
“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me,” Griner said from prison, according to the statement.